Developmental Psychobiology (Dev Psychobiol )

Publisher: International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, John Wiley & Sons


Developmental Psychobiology is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research papers from the disciplines of psychology biology neuroscience and medicine that contribute to an understanding of behavior development. Research that focuses on development in the embryo/fetus neonate juvenile or adult animal and multidisciplinary research that relates behavioral development to anatomy physiology biochemistry genetics or evolution is appropriate. The journal represents a broad phylogenetic perspective on behavior development by publishing studies of invertebrates fish birds humans and other animals. The journal publishes experimental and descriptive studies whether carried out in the laboratory or field. The journal also publishes review articles and theoretical papers that make important conceptual contributions. Special dedicated issues of Developmental Psychobiology consisting of invited papers on a topic of general interest may be arranged with the Editor-in-Chief. Developmental Psychobiology also publishes Letters to the Editor which discuss issues of general interest or material published in the journal. Letters discussing published material may correct errors provide clarification or offer a different point of view. Authors should consult the editors on the preparation of these contributions. Overall scholarship including soundness of experimental design appropriate controls and procedures and importance and significance are the major criteria for publication. Developmental Psychobiology is the official publication of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology. Membership in the Society is not a prerequisite for submission or publication.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Developmental Psychobiology website
  • Other titles
    Developmental psychobiology (Online), Developmental psychobiology
  • ISSN
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  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

John Wiley & Sons

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • See Wiley-Blackwell entry for articles after February 2007
    • On personal web site or secure external website at authors institution
    • Not allowed on institutional repository
    • JASIST authors may deposit in an institutional repository
    • Non-commercial
    • Pre-print must be accompanied with set phrase (see individual journal copyright transfer agreements)
    • Published source must be acknowledged with set phrase (see individual journal copyright transfer agreements)
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • 'John Wiley and Sons' is an imprint of 'Wiley-Blackwell'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As one of the fundamental individual characteristics, behavioral inhibition in early childhood has considerable implications for the development of social, cognitive, and psychological adjustment. The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and behavioral inhibition in Chinese children using a cross-sectional design. A sample of 263 2-year-old children (134 boys and 129 girls of Han ethnicity; ages ranging from 24 to 26 months) in China participated in the study. Behavioral inhibition was assessed through laboratory observations, and genomic DNA was collected with buccal swabs. The results of analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) indicated that the homozygous short 5-HTTLPR allele was associated with lower levels of behavioral inhibition, which was different from most of the findings based on individuals in Western countries. The results suggest that social and cultural factors may be involved in shaping links between the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and children's specific behaviors. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: As one of the first rodent models designed to investigate the effects of early-life experiences, the neonatal handling paradigm has helped us better understand how subtle changes in the infant environment can powerfully drive neurodevelopment of the immature brain in typical or atypical trajectories. Here, we review data from more than 50 years demonstrating the compelling effects of neonatal handling on behavior, physiology, and neural function across the lifespan. Moreover, we present data that challenge the classical view of neonatal handling as an animal model that results only in positive/beneficial outcomes. Indeed, the overall goal of this review is to offer the suggestion that the effects of early-life experiences—including neonatal handling—are nuanced rather than unidirectional. Both beneficial and negative outcomes may occur, depending on the parameters of testing, sex of the subject, and neurobehavioral system analyzed. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A health disparities view suggests that low family income status acts as a risk factor for poor cognitive functioning. A biosystems view suggests that poor sleep and poor stress response system functioning are also risk factors. These views are rarely integrated to test multiplicative risk or protective effects from social–cultural and biological variables. We investigated interactions among familial income, children's sleep and respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity (RSA reactivity, indexing parasympathetic nervous system reactivity) in the prediction of cognitive performance of school-aged children. Participants were 282 children (146 boys; 35% African American and 65% European American; M age = 9.42 years, SD = .71). Mothers reported on family income. Children's sleep quality (efficiency) and duration (minutes) were assessed via a week of actigraphy. Children's RSA reactivity to an attention demanding and frustrating star tracing challenge was assessed in the lab. Children completed standardized cognitive assessments examining attention, processing speed, and crystallized cognitive functioning. Findings show that more optimal sleep efficiency and RSA reactivity interact to confer protection against poor cognitive performance, particularly for children from lower income homes. Results build on the literature and suggest that interactions between biological systems and socioeconomic variables are key for understanding children's cognitive performance. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, there has been a growing interest in understanding the mechanisms underlying vocal learning in songbirds and human infants. Research has demonstrated how contingent social feedback from social partners to immature vocalizations can play a role during vocal learning in both brown-headed cowbirds and prelinguistic infants. Contingencies in social interactions, particularly familiar contingencies, are important in developing preferences for social partners and shaping social exchanges Bigelow and Birch [1999]. Infant Behavior & Development 22:367–382]; however, little is known about how familiar contingencies that individuals experience during communicative exchanges play a role in new contexts. The current study examined differences in caregiver response patterns to infant vocal behavior and assessed how familiar contingencies influenced infant vocal behavior in novel communicative exchanges with caregivers. Infants were systematically exposed to high and low social feedback schedules during a play session. Results revealed the frequency of caregiver responsiveness to which infants were accustomed to affected infant vocal production during novel communicative situations. Infants with high responding caregivers vocalized with more mature vocalizations and used their vocalizations differently than infants with low responding caregivers during the high, but not low, response period. Specifically, infants with high responding caregivers directed more of their vocalizations at their caregiver and looked more at their caregiver after vocalizing, an indication of anticipating contingent responding. These results suggest that infants with high responding caregivers learned the association between vocalizing and contingent responses during the novel communicative interaction. This study demonstrates the need to understand how infants who experience a variety of contingencies in everyday interactions with caregivers carry over to other interactive situations. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescent social instability stress (SS; daily 1 hr isolation + new cage partners postnatal days 30–45; thereafter with original cage partner, also in the SS condition) and control (CTL) rats competed for access to a preferred food in five sessions against their cage partner. In the first session, SS pairs displayed more aggression (face whacks, p = .02; rear attacks, p = .03), were less likely to relinquish access to the food voluntarily (p = .03), spent more time at the feeder than CTL pairs (p = .06), but did not differ in latency to access the feeder (p = .41). Pairs were considered in dominant–submissive relationships (DSR) if one rat spent significantly more time at the feeder than the other; 8 of 12 SS and 8 of 12 CTL pairs displayed DSRs (remaining: no-DSR). Aggression increased from the 1st to 5th session (p < .001), was greater in no-DSR than DSR pairs (p = .04; consistent with the proposed function of DSRs to be the reduction of aggression in groups), and was higher in SS than CTL pairs (p = .05). Because the increased aggression of SS compared with CTL pairs did not result in a significant increase in their time at the feeder, the increased aggression may be considered maladaptive, and may reflect an increased motivation for food reward. These results add to evidence that SS in adolescence modifies the adult social repertoire of rats and highlight the importance of adolescent social experiences for adult behavior. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Differences in fetal neurodevelopment can have important implications on future perceptual and learning capabilities. The aim of this study was to assess autonomic nervous system and complexity dynamics in fetal heart rate (FHR) tracings from 27 singleton fetuses in cephalic or breech presentations, matched for gestational age (37(+3) -40(+4) weeks), weight, gender and outcome. Breeches exhibited significantly higher mean FHR and LF/(MF + HF) ratio, as well as lower entropy, denoting increased sympatho-vagal balance and decreased complexity, consistent with the occurrence of more active fetal behavioral states. These findings suggest that there are neurodevelopment differences between fetuses in cephalic and breech presentation. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol.
    Developmental Psychobiology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A supportive early environment can strengthen the developing individual and build the foundation for a lifelong health. By contrast, severe stress can alter brain architecture and lead to increased susceptibility for psychopathology. There is a growing emphasis on setting up models that recapitulate the complexity of the perinatal environment, particularly the social experiences, on developmental trajectories. Special attention is paid, on the one hand, to the role of the mother in programming the behavioral, neuroendocrine and metabolic development of the offspring and, on the other, to the relevance of the social interactions with mother and peers in building up the adult individual. Overall, these studies confirm the strong and complex influence of the early ecological niche on adult brain function and behavior and illustrate how a comparative approach provides an important contribution to unravel the mechanisms underlying increased risk for mental illness in a translational perspective. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol.
    Developmental Psychobiology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Attachment to the caregiver, typically the biological mother, is crucial to young mammals' socio-emotional development. Although studies in nonprimate species suggest that the amygdala regulates social preference and attachment development, its role in primate filial attachment development has been little investigated and has produced mixed results. This study assessed the effects of neonatal amygdala- (Neo-A, N = 16) and sham- (Neo-C, N = 12) lesions on mother recognition and discrimination in macaques raised in species-typical social groups. Neonatal amygdalectomy did not affect social discriminative abilities and mother preference at 3 and 6 months of age, strongly suggesting that the amygdala is not involved in the cognitive processes underlying the development of filial attachment at least when the amygdala damage occurred after the third to fourth weeks of age. Nevertheless, as compared to sham-operated controls, amygdalectomized infants initiated physical contact with their mothers less frequently. The findings are discussed in relation to the known contribution of the amygdala to filial attachment in both rodents and humans. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Preexposure to a conditioned stimulus (CS) usually weakens conditioning, an effect known as latent inhibition. Similar to other learning interference effects, latent inhibition has been characterized as context-dependent, which means that the magnitude of this effect can be attenuated by changing the context between the different phases of the procedure (e.g., preexposure and conditioning). Latent inhibition has been found with a variety of procedures in infant rats, but the few studies that examined the context-dependency of this phenomenon during this ontogenetic period found no context-change effect. The present study explored the context-dependency of latent inhibition during infancy using a conditioned taste aversion preparation and employing contexts enriched with distinctive odors to increase the possible efficacy of the context manipulation. Experiment 1 showed that three preexposures to the CS (saccharin) were sufficient to retard conditioning to the same CS, although this effect was also observed in a control group preexposed to an alternative taste stimulus (saline), in comparison with a non-preexposed control group. In Experiment 2a, the CS-preexposure effect was found to be specific to the preexposed CS when the number of preexposures was increased. This effect was revealed as context-dependent in Experiment 2b, since it was attenuated by changing the context between preexposure and conditioning. The present result is consistent with recent studies showing the context-dependency of extinction in preweanling rats, thus demonstrating these animals' capacity to learn about context early on in their development. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the impact of infant maltreatment on juvenile rhesus monkeys' behavioral reactivity to novel stimuli and its associations with amygdala volume. Behavioral reactivity to novel stimuli of varying threat intensity was measured using Approach/Avoidance (AA) and Human Intruder (HI) tasks. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to measure amygdala volume. Interestingly, group behavioral differences were context-dependent. When exposed to a human intruder, maltreated subjects displayed more anxious behaviors than controls; however, when presented with fear-evoking objects, maltreated animals exhibited increased aggression and a shorter latency to inspect the objects. Finally, under testing conditions with the lowest levels of threat (neutral novel objects) maltreated animals also showed shorter latencies to inspect objects, and reduced avoidance and increased exploration compared to controls. This suggests alterations in threat assessment and less behavioral inhibition in animals with early adverse experience compared to controls. Some of these behavioral responses were associated with amygdala volume, which was positively correlated with abuse rates received during infancy, particularly reflecting a relationship with exploration, consistent with previous studies. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Various studies suggested that attentional difficulties cause toddlers' failure in some spatial search tasks. However, attention is not a unitary construct and this study investigated two attentional mechanisms: location selection (space-based attention) and object selection (object-based attention). We investigated how toddlers' attention is distributed in the visual field during a manual search task for objects moving out of sight, namely the moving boxes task. Results show that 2.5-year-olds who failed this task allocated more attention to the location of the relevant object than to the object itself. These findings suggest that in some manual search tasks the primacy of space-based attention over object-based attention could be a marker of immature selective attention in toddlers. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal and paternal potentiation of vocalization are two parts of a promising model of early life social bonds that has been and can be a useful tool in research. Most mammalian infants vocalize when isolated. Interactions with adult females just before isolation have been found to increase vocalizations in several species. Interactions with littermates and other social stimuli do not. In guinea pigs and pigs, the response is specific to the dam. In rats and octagon degus, an unrelated adult female from the colony is sufficient. The presence of an intact adult male in the test chamber with dam-reared pups evokes behavioral inhibition, a fear response. Previous exposure to the male in the home cage, biparental rearing, dramatically transforms the response of the pup. The pup treats the adult male as it does its dam, including potentiation of vocalization during a subsequent isolation. This article outlines the methods, advantages, and disadvantages of parental potentiation as a research tool, as well as a brief review of the evidence supporting its use as a marker for filial attachment. Future research directions are outlined. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol.
    Developmental Psychobiology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A close association between early-life experience and cognitive and emotional outcomes is found in humans. In experimental models, early-life experience can directly influence a number of brain functions long-term. Specifically, and often in concert with genetic background, experience regulates structural and functional maturation of brain circuits and alters individual neuronal function via large-scale changes in gene expression. Because adverse experience during sensitive developmental periods is often associated with neuropsychiatric disease, there is an impetus to create realistic models of distinct early-life experiences. These can then be used to study causality between early-life experiential factors and cognitive and emotional outcomes, and to probe the underlying mechanisms. Although chronic early-life stress has been linked to the emergence of emotional and cognitive disorders later in life, most commonly used rodent models of involve daily maternal separation and hence intermittent early-life stress. We describe here a naturalistic and robust chronic early-life stress model that potently influences cognitive and emotional outcomes. Mice and rats undergoing this stress develop structural and functional deficits in a number of limbic-cortical circuits. Whereas overt pathological memory impairments appear during adulthood, emotional and cognitive vulnerabilities emerge already during adolescence. This naturalistic paradigm, widely adopted around the world, significantly enriches the repertoire of experimental tools available for the study of normal brain maturation and of cognitive and stress-related disorders including depression, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dementia. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol.
    Developmental Psychobiology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Early assessments of children's physiological functioning are shown to predict subsequent developmental outcomes. However, individual changes that occur in the development of physiological systems may be associated with the pattern of change in behavior across time. Thus, we examined change in respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), an index of physiological regulation, as a time-varying predictor in order to assess whether RSA change at ages 3, 4, and 5 uniquely influenced the trajectory of externalizing behaviors from age 3 to 5. Results indicated that only at age 3 was RSA change significantly associated with decreases in externalizing behaviors over time. RSA change scores at ages 4 and 5 were unrelated to trajectories of externalizing behavior, suggesting that the ability to physiologically regulate by age 3 may contribute to the development of skills that facilitate more control over behavior throughout preschool, and therefore may be more strongly associated with the pattern of change in externalizing behaviors than later physiological regulation. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol.
    Developmental Psychobiology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Visual contour detection is enhanced by grouping principles, such as proximity and collinearity, which appear to rely on horizontal connectivity in visual cortex. Previous experiments suggest that children require greater proximity to detect contours and that, unlike adults, collinearity does not compensate for their proximity limitation. Over two experiments we test whether closure, a global property known to facilitate contour detection, compensates for this limitation. Adults and children (3-9 years old) performed a 2AFC task; one panel contained an illusory contour (closed or open) in visual noise, and one only noise. The experiments were identical except proximity was doubled in Exp. 2, enabling shorter-range spatial integration. Results suggest children are limited by proximity, and that closure did not reliably improve their performance as it did for adults. We conclude that perceptual maturity lags behind anatomy within this system, and suggest that slow statistical learning of long-range orientation correlations controls this disparity. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol.
    Developmental Psychobiology 05/2014;

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