Developmental Psychobiology (Dev Psychobiol )

Publisher: International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, John Wiley and 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
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

John Wiley and 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
    • Deposit in institutional repositories is not allowed
    • 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'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Infants born to women with depressive symptoms are at higher risk for insecure attachment and behavioral problems. Thus current medical practice is to continue psychotropic medication of pregnant women with depression despite concerns about its behavioral teratology. There are few animal studies focused on long-term behavioral effects of prenatal antidepressant exposure; in addition, studies have not looked at individual differences in baseline affective state as a source of response variability. In this study, fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), was administered to male and female rat pups from postnatal days 2–7 to model exposure to antidepressants in the human third trimester. Four behavioral measures were conducted from the neonatal to adult age periods in Low and High lines selectively bred for their rate of ultrasonic vocalizations after brief maternal separation. Neonatal fluoxetine administration decreased distress calls in both lines, but to a greater extent in High line rats than Low line. Neonatal fluoxetine also impaired motor coordination in neonates. Neonatal fluoxetine administration decreased social behavior in both juvenile and adult subjects. Fluoxetine-related reductions in anxiety behavior were not observed at the two older ages. As expected, High line subjects displayed more anxiety behavior than Low line subjects at all three test ages. These results suggest that there are may be significant behavioral consequences of antidepressant use during late pregnancy on offspring maternal attachment and social behavior, with implications for increased risk of autism spectrum disorders. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The study examined Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis and inflammatory signaling in 206 youth with histories of prenatal drug exposure and self-reported histories of maltreatment. Youth with histories of severe neglect showed elevated levels of cortisol, the end product of the HPA axis, in comparison to youth with lower or minimal levels of neglect. Histories of severe neglect also were associated with increased levels of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF), a cytokine known to be intricately involved in HPA axis regulation. Salivary MIF levels also were positively associated with youth age and prenatal drug exposure. These MIF and cortisol alterations may signal pathophysiological disruptions in the neuro-endocrine and immune systems, which may lead to trajectories of increased disease risk among vulnerable youth. Our findings also provide preliminary support for the validity and reliability of a noninvasive salivary assessment of MIF. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol.
    Developmental Psychobiology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Early in ontogeny, taste preexposure has been found to induce latent inhibition as well as produce a facilitation of conditioned taste aversion (CTA). In this study, the effect of taste preexposure on CTA was investigated in 13–14 day old rats as a function of taste preexposure (0, 1, or 3 trials) and unconditioned stimulus intensity (LiCl: 0, 0.15, or 0.30 M). After one conditioning trial, with the low intensity US, an aversion was only observed after taste preexposure (facilitation). When using the strong US, an aversion was found without preexposure while latent inhibition was observed with 3 preexposure trials. In conclusion, stimulus preexposure can either facilitate conditioning or produce latent inhibition in infant rats, depending on the amount of stimulus preexposure and the intensity of the US. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In a paradigm that may serve as a translational model for maternal separation experiences of human infants in neonatal intensive care units, we examined how the duration of reunion with the dam influenced the phenomenon of maternal potentiation of ultrasonic vocalizations, in which isolated rat pups increase rates of vocalization following brief interactions with dams. We report that maternal potentiation in 12–13 day-old rats did not occur after reunions with their anesthetized dam that lasted longer than 15–min. However, after 18 hr maternal separation, isolated pups given reunions with their anesthetized dam increased vocalization rate even with reunions as long as 3 hr. Using a split-cage apparatus that prevented physical contact, the impact of 18 hr separations on maternal potentiation was partially offset by experiencing olfactory and/or auditory stimuli of the mother. These results suggest that maintaining partial maternal sensory exposure during prolonged maternal separation can reduce responses elicited by subsequent maternal separation. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated continuity and change in maternal-child hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis attunement in early childhood. Participants were drawn from a prospective study of 1,292 mother–child dyads, which were racially diverse, predominantly low-income, and non-urban. Child focused stress tasks designed to elicit anger, fear, and frustration were administered during early infancy, later infancy, and toddlerhood. Mothers’ and children's saliva samples (later assayed for cortisol) were collected before and after the tasks. The strength of mother–child adrenocortical attunement was conserved across infancy and toddlerhood. The magnitude of maternal-child adrenocortical attunement decreased in response to the child-focused stress tasks. Maternal sensitivity and the child's task-related emotional reactivity moderated adrenocortical attunement across the task, with greater maternal sensitivity during a free-play, and lower levels of child emotional reactivity during the stress tasks, stabilizing attunement from pre- to post-task levels. The findings advance our understanding of individual differences in the social regulation of adrenocortical activity in early childhood. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol.
    Developmental Psychobiology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Temperament is an important predictor of socioemotional adjustment, such as externalizing and internalizing symptoms. However, there is not a one-to-one correspondence between temperamental predispositions and these outcomes, implying that other factors also contribute to the development of internalizing and externalizing problems. Self-regulation is believed to interact with temperament, and has been studied as a predictor for later socioemotional outcomes. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) is a psychophysiological measure of self-regulation that has been studied as a moderator of risk. The primary aim of the present study was to test if RSA baseline and RSA reactivity would moderate the link between temperament and socioemotional outcomes. Mothers reported the temperament of their infants (20 months; N = 154), RSA was collected at 24- and 42-months, and mothers reported externalizing and internalizing behaviors at kindergarten entry. RSA baseline and RSA reactivity moderated the relation between exuberant temperament and externalizing behaviors. However, these results were only significant for girls, such that high RSA baseline and greater RSA suppression predicted more externalizing behaviors when exuberance was high. Fearful temperament predicted later internalizing behaviors, but no moderation was present. These results are discussed in light of recent evidence regarding gender differences in the role of RSA as a protective factor for risk. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Social experience during adolescence has long-lasting consequences for adult social behavior in many species. In zebra finches, individuals reared in pairs during adolescence start to court females faster, sing more courtship motifs to females and are more aggressive compared with groupreared males. We investigated whether such differences are stable during adulthood or can be abolished by novel social experience after adolescence by giving all birds extensive experience with group life during adulthood. Courtship and aggressiveness increased in all males, but pair-reared males still had a higher motif rate and were more aggressive than group-reared males. Males no longer differed in courtship latency. In addition to the stable treatment differences, individual differences in behavior remained stable over time. Our results show that differences in behavior acquired during adolescence are preserved into adulthood, although adults still change their social behavior. Adolescence can thus be seen as a sensitive period during which social conditions have a lasting effect on adult behavior.
    Developmental Psychobiology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study tested predictions regarding two hypothesized maternal immune responses influencing sexual orientation: one affecting homosexual males with high fraternal birth order and another affecting firstborn homosexual individuals whose mothers experience repeated miscarriage after the birth of the first child. Low birth weight was treated as a marker of possible exposure to a maternal immune response during gestation. Birth weight was examined relative to sibship characteristics in a clinical sample of youth (N = 1,722) classified as heterosexual or homosexual based on self-reported or probable sexual orientation. No female sexual orientation differences in birth weight were found. Homosexual, compared to heterosexual, males showed lower birth weight if they had one or more older brothers-and especially two or more older brothers-or if they were an only-child. These findings support the existence of two maternal immune responses influencing male sexual orientation and possibly also cross-gender behavior and identity. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol.
    Developmental Psychobiology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In mammals, the presence of the mother can reduce or “buffer” stress responses of her young in threatening conditions. We compared the effect of the mother, a familiar littermate, and an unfamiliar adult male on three classes of response shown by guinea pig pups in a novel environment: short latency active behaviors, particularly vocalizing; slower developing passive behaviors that appear mediated by inflammatory mechanisms; and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity. We also examined Fos induction in the prelimbic cortex, a region hypothesized to mediate buffering effects. Only the mother significantly suppressed all classes of behavior. The greatest selectivity was observed for passive behavioral responses. Contrary to expectations, the adult male reduced plasma cortisol levels of pups as effectively as did the mother. The presence of the male also resulted in increased Fos induction in the prelimbic cortex and high levels of social interaction. Maternal buffering was not associated with prelimbic activity. These results confirm the ability of the mother to reduce active behavioral and HPA responses and suggest a specific maternal buffering effect on the later developing passive behavioral responses. The findings also demonstrate an unexpected ability of adult males to reduce HPA responses and raise the possibility that different social partners buffer HPA activity through different underlying processes. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 10/2014;
  • Developmental Psychobiology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined reactivity to social-evaluative stress in the parasympathetic (PNS) and sympathetic (SNS) branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) as prospective predictors of sleep in middle childhood. Participants included 339 children (M age = 9 years and 5 months at T1; 54% female; 64% European American, 36% African American). Sleep efficiency, sleep minutes, and variability in sleep onset time were assessed with actigraphy for seven consecutive nights at T1 and 1 year later at T2. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity (RSAR) and skin conductance level reactivity (SCLR) were assessed in response to a developmentally salient social-evaluative stress task at T1. Controlling for demographic variables and the respective sleep parameter at T1, the interaction between RSAR and SCLR predicted T2 sleep efficiency and sleep minutes. Consistent with the hypothesized role of reciprocal sympathetic activation (higher SCLR) and parasympathetic withdrawal (higher RSAR), higher RSAR predicted higher sleep efficiency and sleep minutes among children with higher SCLR but not lower SCLR. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We developed a novel animal model of early life experiences in which rat pups are trained during postnatal days (PND) 10–13 in a T-maze with maternal contact as a reward (RER group) or its denial (DER group) as a mildly aversive event. Both groups of animals learn the T-maze, albeit the RER do so more efficiently. Training results in activation of the basal ganglia in the RER and of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in the DER. Moreover, on PND10 DER training leads to increased corticosterone levels and activation of the amygdala. In adulthood, male DER animals show better mnemonic abilities in the Morris water maze while the RER exhibit enhanced fear memory. Furthermore, DER animals have a hypofunctioning serotonergic system and express depressive-like behavior and increased aggression. However, they have increased hippocampal glucocorticoid receptors, indicative of efficient hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis function, and an adaptive pattern of stress-induced corticosterone response. The DER experience with its relatively negative emotional valence results in a complex behavioral phenotype, which cannot be considered simply as adaptive or maladaptive. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol
    Developmental Psychobiology 09/2014;
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    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;