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The effects of the early parent-infant relationship on infants' neural processing of emotion

Taylor-Colls, S; (2017) The effects of the early parent-infant relationship on infants' neural processing of emotion. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This doctoral dissertation provides novel data on the association between the early parent-infant relationship and infants’ neurological processing of emotion in non-clinical families. This thesis examines four main contributors to the parent-infant relationship; infant temperament, parental mental health, parental sensitivity and infant attachment in relation to infants’ neurological responses to emotional faces as indexed by electroencephalography (EEG) data. All four dimensions of the parent-infant relationship are analysed in relation to infants’ Event Related Potentials (ERPs) from EEG data while viewing positive, negative and neutral emotional faces. Three infant face and emotion sensitive ERP components were identified; N290, P400 and the Negative Central (Nc). Maternal mental health, specifically anxiety and depression can be observed to relate to the processing of positive emotion for the early ‘face-sensitive’ ERP component the N290 and the ‘emotion-sensitive’ ERP component the Nc respectively. Further yet, parental behaviour, in particular sensitive caregiving, is associated with the neural processing of positive emotion at the most highly studied infant ERP component, the Nc. Infants’ neural processing of negative emotion appears sensitive to elements of infant temperament, specifically self-regulatory traits. Infants’ attachment to their primary caregiver appears unrelated to infants’ ERP responses to emotion. The results are discussed in relation to their theoretical implications for ERP and parent-infant research and the clinical implications associated with emotion processing difficulties.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The effects of the early parent-infant relationship on infants' neural processing of emotion
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1575648
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