Koraly Perez-Edgar

Koraly Perez-Edgar
Pennsylvania State University | Penn State · Department of Psychology

AB, MA, PhD

About

173
Publications
67,579
Reads
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5,870
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2018 - present
Pennsylvania State University
Position
  • Professor
January 2018 - June 2018
Pennsylvania State University
Position
  • Professor
July 2017 - present
Pennsylvania State University
Position
  • Professor
Education
August 1995 - June 2001
Harvard University
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 1992 - June 1995
Dartmouth College
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (173)
Article
Full-text available
Individual differences in temperament emerge in the first months of life. Some infants display a heightened sensitivity to novelty and uncertainty in the world around them, leading a subset to fearfully withdraw from the social environment. Extreme forms of this temperament, Behavioral Inhibition (BI), are associated with increased risk for social...
Article
This study examined longitudinal relations between attention and social fear across the first two years of life. Our sample consisted of 357 infants and their caregivers across three sites. Data was collected at 4, 8, 12, 18, and 24 months of age. At all 5 assessments, the infants participated in 2 eye-tracking tasks (Vigilance and Overlap) which m...
Article
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a key brain area in considering adaptive regulatory behaviors. This includes regulatory projections to regions of the limbic system such as the amygdala, where the nature of functional connections may confer lower risk for anxiety disorders. The PFC is also associated with behaviors like executive functioning. Inhibit...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined patterns of attention toward affective stimuli in a longitudinal sample of typically developing infants (N = 357, 147 females, 50% White, 22% Latinx, 16% African American/Black, 3% Asian, 8% mixed race, 1% not reported) using two eye-tracking tasks that measure vigilance to (rapid detection), engagement with (total looking towar...
Article
‘Six solutions for more reliable infant research’ outlines important steps in improving research with the youngest of participants. Here, we suggest that a complimentary avenue for further improving reliability can be found in employing more ecologically valid tasks. Because laboratory tasks are often designed as simple, heavily controlled represen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Developmental theories suggest affect-biased attention, preferential attention to emotionally salient stimuli, emerges during infancy through coordinating individual differences. Here we examined bidirectional relations between infant affect-biased attention, temperamental negative affect, and maternal anxiety symptoms. Infant-mother pairs (N = 342...
Article
Flexible social attention, including visually attending to social interaction partners, coupled with positive affect may facilitate adaptive social functioning. However, most research assessing social attention relies on static computer-based paradigms, overlooking the dynamics of social interactions and limiting understanding of individual differe...
Article
Full-text available
Age and gender differences are prominent in the temperament literature, with the former particularly salient in infancy and the latter noted as early as the first year of life. This study represents a meta-analysis utilizing Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised (IBQ-R) data collected across multiple laboratories ( N = 4438) to overcome limitations...
Article
Full-text available
Attentional bias to threat, the process of preferentially attending to potentially threatening environmental stimuli over neutral stimuli, is positively associated with behavioral inhibition (BI) and trait anxiety. However, the most used measure of attentional bias to threat, the dot-probe task, has been criticized for demonstrating poor reliabilit...
Article
Full-text available
The intergenerational transmission of psychopathology is one of the strongest known risk factors for childhood disorder and may be a malleable target for prevention and intervention. Anxious parents have distinct parenting profiles that impact socioemotional development, and these parenting effects may result in broad alterations to the biological...
Article
Full-text available
Parental verbal threat (vs. safety) information regarding the social world may impact a child's fear responses, evident in subjective, behavioral, cognitive, and physiological indices of fear. In this study, primary caregivers provided standardized verbal threat or safety information to their child (N = 68, M = 5.27 years; 34 girls) regarding two s...
Article
To better understand the development of externalizing behavior, the current study examines how multiple levels of influence (child temperament, negative parenting, and dyadic interactions) work together to increase externalizing behaviors over time. Negative parenting (NP) and observed dynamic dyadic behavioral variability (DBV) in parent-child int...
Preprint
Attention biases to threat are considered part of the etiology of anxiety disorders. The dot probe task is frequently used to assess attention biases, however traditional bias scores may not be reliable. Attention bias variability (ABV) may better capture the relation between attention biases and psychopathology risk, versus mean levels of attentio...
Article
An attention bias to threat has been linked to psychosocial outcomes across development, including anxiety (Pérez-Edgar et al., 2010). Although some attention biases to threat are normative, it remains unclear how these biases diverge into maladaptive patterns of emotion processing for some infants. Here, we examined the relation between household...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of literature suggests that the explicit parameterization of neural power spectra is important for the appropriate physiological interpretation of periodic and aperiodic electroencephalogram (EEG) activity. In this paper, we discuss why parameterization is an imperative step for developmental cognitive neuroscientists interested in c...
Preprint
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a key brain area in considering adaptive regulatory behaviors. This includes regulatory projections to regions of the limbic system such as the amygdala, where the nature of functional connections may confer lower risk for anxiety disorders. The PFC is also associated with behaviors like executive functioning. Inhibit...
Article
Full-text available
Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and disabling but seem particularly tractable to investigation with translational neuroscience methodologies. Neuroimaging has informed our understanding of the neurobiology of anxiety disorders, but research has been limited by small sample sizes and low statistical power, as well as heterogenous imaging meth...
Article
Full-text available
The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) is an innovative approach designed to explore dimensions of human behavior. This approach aims to move beyond the limits of psychiatric categories in hopes of aligning the identification of psychological health and dysfunction with clinical neuroscience. Despite its contributions to adult psychopathology research...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated whether infant temperament was predicted by level and change in maternal hostility, a putative transdiagnostic vulnerability for psychopathology, substance use, and insensitive parenting. A sample of women (N = 247) who were primarily young, low-income, and had varying levels of substance use prenatally (69 non-smokers, 81 tobacco o...
Article
Attentional biases to and away from threat are considered hallmarks of temperamental Behavioral Inhibition (BI), which is a documented risk factor for social anxiety disorder. However, most research on affective attentional biases has traditionally been constrained to computer screens, where stimuli often lack ecological validity. Moreover, prior r...
Article
Full-text available
Observing others’ emotions triggers physiological arousal in infants as well as in adults, reflected in dilated pupil sizes. This study is the first to examine parents’ and infants’ pupil responses to dynamic negative emotional facial expressions. Moreover, the links between pupil responses and negative emotional dispositions were explored among in...
Article
Objective: The objective of the current study was to complete a systematic review of the relationship between prenatal maternal stress due to potentially traumatic events (PTEs) and child temperament. Method: Eligible studies through June 2020 were identified utilizing a search strategy in PubMed and PsycInfo. Included studies examined associations...
Article
Early behavioural inhibition, a temperamental characteristic defined by fearful, overly-sensitive, avoidant, or withdrawn reactions to the unknown, is a predictor of later social anxiety. However, not all behaviourally inhibited children develop anxiety problems, and attentional bias to threat has been proposed to moderate the relation between beha...
Article
Background: Eye-tracking measures attention patterns, which may offer insight into evaluating procedural expertise. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using eye-tracking to assess visual fixation patterns when performing an ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia (UGRA) procedure, and to assess for differences between exper...
Article
SYNOPSIS Objective. The current study examines whether associations between mothers’ and fathers’ emotional expressiveness and children’s observed sharing behavior differ for two young children in the same family and whether children’s baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) moderates relations between emotional expressiveness and sharing. Desi...
Article
Parent-to-child transmission of information processing biases to threat is a potential causal mechanism in the family aggregation of anxiety symptoms and traits. This study is the first to investigate the link between infants’ and parents’ attention bias to dynamic threat-relevant (versus happy) emotional expressions. Moreover, the associations bet...
Article
Full-text available
Parent-to-child transmission of information processing biases to threat is a potential causal mechanism in the family aggregation of anxiety symptoms and traits. This study is the first to investigate the link between infants’ and parents’ attention bias to dynamic threat-relevant (versus happy) emotional expressions. Moreover, the associations bet...
Article
The temperament profile Behavioral Inhibition (BI) is a strong predictor of internalizing behavior in childhood. Patterns of attention towards or away from threat are a commonality of both BI and internalizing behaviors. Attention biases are traditionally measured with computer tasks presenting affective stimuli, which can lack ecological validity....
Preprint
Full-text available
Dopamine is a versatile neurotransmitter with implications in many domains, including anxiety and effortful control. Where high levels of effortful control are often regarded as adaptive, other work suggests that high levels of effortful control may be a risk factor for anxiety. Dopamine signaling may be key in understanding these relations. Eye bl...
Article
Full-text available
Background While taxonomy segregates anxiety symptoms into diagnoses, patients typically present with multiple diagnoses; this poses major challenges, particularly for youth, where mixed presentation is particularly common. Anxiety comorbidity could reflect multivariate, cross-domain interactions insufficiently emphasized in current taxonomy. We ut...
Article
Resting-state electroencephalography (EEG) provides developmental neuroscientists a non-invasive view into the neural underpinnings of cognition and emotion. Recently, the psychometric properties of two widely used neural measures in early childhood – frontal alpha asymmetry and delta-beta coupling – have come under scrutiny. Despite their growing...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Attention processes may play a central role in shaping trajectories of socioemotional development. Individuals who are clinically anxious or have high levels of trait anxiety sometimes show attention biases to threat. There is emerging evidence that young children also demonstrate a link between attention bias to salient stimuli and bro...
Preprint
A growing body of literature points to the importance of the explicit parameterization of neural power spectra for the appropriate physiological interpretation of periodic and aperiodic electroencephalogram (EEG) activity. In this paper, we discuss why parameterization is an imperative step for developmental cognitive neuroscientists interested in...
Article
Temperamental Behavioral Inhibition (BI) is a well-documented risk factor for social anxiety in development. However, not all BI children will ultimately demonstrate anxious symptomology. Levels of inhibitory control have been proposed as a possible risk or protective factor for these children, but research remains mixed on whether higher levels of...
Article
Behavioral synchrony during social interactions is foundational for the development of social relationships. Behavioral inhibition (BI), characterized by wariness to social novelty and increased anxiety, may influence how children engage in moment-to-moment behavioral synchrony. EEG-derived frontal Alpha asymmetry and Delta-Beta coupling reflect ap...
Article
Full-text available
Affect-biased attention is an automatic process that prioritizes emotionally or motivationally salient stimuli. Several models of affect-biased attention and its development suggest that it comprises an individual’s ability to both engage with and disengage from emotional stimuli. Researchers typically rely on singular tasks to measure affect-biase...
Article
Temperamental behavioral inhibition (BI) is a robust endophenotype for anxiety characterized by increased sensitivity to novelty. Controlling parenting can reinforce children’s wariness by rewarding signs of distress. Fine-grained, dynamic measures are needed to better understand both how children perceive their parent’s behaviors and the mechanism...
Article
Full-text available
Elevated levels of anxiety are associated with attentional threat biases and inefficient attentional control, with the latter requiring sustained cognitive effort. The current study assessed self-reported and behavioral evidence of attentional functioning, along with electrodermal activity (EDA measured via skin conductance level [SCL]) as an index...
Article
Background: Variation in EEG-derived delta-beta coupling has recently emerged as a potential neural marker of emotion regulation, providing a novel and non-invasive method for assessing a risk factor for anxiety. However, our understanding of delta-beta coupling has been limited to group-level comparisons, which provide limited information about an...
Article
The ability to interpret others’ emotions is a critical skill for children’s socioemotional functioning. While research has emphasized facial emotion expressions, children are also constantly required to interpret vocal emotion expressed at or around them by individuals who are both familiar and unfamiliar to them. The present study examined how sp...
Article
Within the developmental literature, there is an often unspoken tension between studies that aim to capture broad scale, fairly universal nomothetic traits, and studies that focus on mechanisms and trajectories that are idiographic and bounded to some extent by systematic individual differences. The suitability of these approaches vary as a functio...
Article
Collecting data with infants is notoriously difficult. As a result, many of our studies consist of small samples, with only a single measure, in a single age group, at a single time point. With renewed calls for greater academic rigor in data collection practices, using multiple outcome measures in infant research is one way to increase rigor, and...
Article
Researchers are acutely interested in how people engage in social interactions and navigate our environment. However, in striving for experimental or laboratory control, we often instead present individuals with representations of social and environmental constructs and infer how they would behave in more dynamic and contingent interactions. Mobile...
Chapter
Shyness is a commonly observed state or trait that can incorporate a wide array of socially-oriented behaviors. This broad term of shyness can be more precisely grouped into behavioral sub-types, each of which may be associated with distinct neurological and physiological markers and long-term outcomes. Shy individuals typically show a hypersensiti...
Article
Affect-biased attention reflects the prioritization of attention to stimuli that individuals deem to be motivationally and/or affectively salient. Normative affect-biased attention is early-emerging, providing an experience-expectant function for socioemotional development. Evidence is limited regarding how reactive and regulatory aspects of temper...
Chapter
Caregivers of young infants are often well practiced in detecting and interpreting the presence or absence of infant emotion. This is particularly true in the case of negative emotions, motivating caregivers to take on the mantel of detective. Why is the baby crying? Is he/she hungry? Cold? Too hot? Angry? Gassy? Tired? Bored? A caregiver’s need to...
Chapter
Mobile eye-tracking is a technology that captures visual information, such as gaze, eye-movements, and pupil dilations, when learners are mobile. Traditional eye-tracking helps researchers to obtain precise, moment-by-moment information about learners’ engagement, interactions, and learning processes, but it has some weaknesses due to its structura...
Chapter
Temperament is defined as an early appearing, biologically rooted, and relatively stable disposition that contributes to children’s emotionality/affectivity, effortful control, activity level, and attention. Individual differences in temperament are evident in how infants and children experience, express, and regulate their emotions. This article d...
Article
Heightened delta-beta correlation has been conceptualized as reflecting exaggerated neural regulation and has been implicated in anxiety. Behavioral inhibition (BI) is a temperament characterized by wariness to novelty and is a robust predictor of anxiety, but delta-beta correlation has not been investigated in relation to childhood BI. We examined...
Article
Background While taxonomy segregates anxiety symptoms into diagnoses, patients typically present with multiple diagnoses; this poses major challenges, particularly for youth, where mixed presentation is particularly common. Anxiety comorbidity could reflect multivariate, cross-domain interactions insufficiently emphasized in current taxonomy. We ut...
Article
For decades, researchers have been interested in humans’ ability to quickly detect threat-relevant stimuli. Here we review recent findings from infant research on biased attention to threat, and discuss how these data speak to classic assumptions about whether attention biases for threat are normative, whether they change with development, and what...
Article
Individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) show high rates of anxiety associated with their increased risk of developing schizophrenia. Biased attention is associated with anxiety and is important to investigate in those with 22q11DS given this association. We analyzed attention bias to emotional faces in 7 to 17-year olds with 22q11DS an...
Article
Behavioral Inhibition (BI) is a temperament type that predicts social withdrawal in childhood and anxiety disorders later in life. However, not all BI children develop anxiety. Attention bias (AB) may enhance the vulnerability for anxiety in BI children, and interfere with their development of effective emotion regulation. In order to fully probe a...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Clinical levels of a social anxiety disorder (SAD) often appear during childhood and rise to a peak during late adolescence. The temperament trait behavioral inhibition (BI), evident early in childhood, has been linked to increased risk for SAD. Functional and structural variations in brain regions associated with the identification of...
Chapter
The current chapter reviews the theoretical and empirical forces that have shaped the study of emotional development from the perspective of temperament research. Despite variations in the theoretical perspective used to approach the link between temperament and emotion, the necessary limits in available methodologies have drawn the literature to a...
Book
This handbook offers a comprehensive review of the research on emotional development. It examines research on individual emotions, including happiness, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust, as well as self-conscious and pro-social emotions. Chapters describe theoretical and biological foundations and address the roles of cognition and context on emoti...
Article
Full-text available
Several researchers have proposed a causal relation between biased attention to threat and the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders in both children and adults. However, despite the widely-documented correlation between attention bias to threat and anxiety, developmental research in this domain is limited. In this review, we highlight t...
Article
The current investigation examines the relation between perinatal complications and social anxiety incorporating the potential indirect effect of child temperament. Participants were 149 children aged 9 to 12 years (Mage = 9.97, SDage = 1.00) screened for behavioural inhibition (BI) and assessed for social anxiety symptoms using parent and child re...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the importance of peer experiences during early childhood for socioemotional development, few studies have examined how young children process and respond to peer feedback. The current study used an ecologically valid experimental paradigm to study young children’s processing of peer social acceptance or rejection. In this paradigm, 118 chi...
Article
Our conceptualization of adult personality and childhood temperament can be closely aligned in that they both reflect endogenous, likely constitutional dispositions. Empirical studies of temperament have focused on measuring systematic differences in emotional reactions, motor responses, and physiological states that we believe may contribute to th...
Article
Full-text available
Anxiety is among the most prevalent, early emerging, and detrimental mental conditions for children and adolescents. As with most psychiatric disorders, prevention and intervention efforts are most effective when the early etiology of the disorder is well understood from a developmental perspective. To illustrate this point, this article reviews th...
Article
Cross-sectional evidence suggests that attention bias to threat is linked to anxiety disorders and anxiety vulnerability in both children and adults. However, there is a lack of developmental evidence regarding the causal mechanisms through which attention bias to threat might convey risks for socioemotional problems, such as anxiety. Gaining insig...
Article
The current investigation examines the relation between perinatal complications and social anxiety incorporating the potential indirect effect of child temperament. Participants were 149 children 9 to 12 years of age (Mage=9.97, SDage=1.00) screened for behavioral inhibition (BI) and assessed for social anxiety symptoms using parent- and child-repo...
Article
Social information processing is a critical mechanism underlying children’s socio-emotional development. Central to this process are patterns of activation associated with one of our most salient socioemotional cues, the face. In this study, we obtained fMRI activation and high-density ERP source data evoked by parallel face dot-probe tasks from 9-...
Article
In addition to semantic content, human speech carries paralinguistic information that conveys important social cues such as a speaker’s identity. For young children, their own mothers’ voice is one of the most salient vocal inputs in their daily environment. Indeed, qualities of mothers’ voices are shown to contribute to children’s social developme...
Article
Full-text available
Earlier evidence has revealed a bi‐directional causal relationship between anxiety and attention biases in adults and children. This study investigated the prospective and concurrent relations between anxiety and attentional bias in a sample of 89 families (mothers, fathers, and first‐born children). Parents’ and children's attentional bias was mea...
Article
Full-text available
Anger is a central characteristic of negative affect and is relatively stable from infancy onward. Absolute levels of anger typically peak in early childhood and diminish as children become socialized and better able to regulate emotions. From infancy to school age, however, there are also individual differences in rank-order levels of anger. For e...