Article

Early Neglect Is Associated With Alterations in White Matter Integrity and Cognitive Functioning

University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Child Development (Impact Factor: 4.92). 03/2013; DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12069
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cognitive deficits have been reported in children who experienced early neglect, especially children raised in institutionalized settings. Previous research suggests that early neglect may differentially affect the directional organization of white matter in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This may be one mechanism to explain cognitive deficits associated with neglect. To test this idea, properties of white matter and neurocognitive performance were assessed in children who suffered early neglect and those raised in typical environments (n = 63, Mage = 11.75 years). As predicted, prefrontal white matter microstructure was affected, consistent with more diffuse organization, in children that suffered early neglect and this was related to neurocognitive deficits. Such findings underscore how early adversity may affect the PFC and explain cognitive deficits associated with neglect.

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Available from: Nagesh Adluru, Apr 01, 2014
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    • "Specific working-memory, inhibitory control, and attentionalcognitive abilities comprise executive functions in the developmental cognitive neuroscience literature (Blair et al., 2014; Zelazo & Bauer, 2013). Early child neglect has been shown to be related to diffuse organization of white matter microstructure in PFC in adolescents, and this has been associated with neurocognitive deficits on tasks that involve assessments of cognitive control, behavioral regulation, and spatial planning (Hanson et al., 2013). The examination of self-control from different perspectives and time points in developmental research has led to a growing realization that large societal problems such as criminality often begin with individual difficulties in self-control (Moffitt et al., 2011). "
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    • "Studies have demonstrated neurological impacts as a result of less than optimal caregiving (e.g., Hanson et al., 2013; Strathearn, 2011). Neglect has been identified as " the most prevalent form of child maltreatment " (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2012, p. 6). "
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