Electroencephalogram and Heart Rate Measures of Working Memory at 5 and 10 Months of Age

Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.
Developmental Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.21). 12/2011; 48(4):907-17. DOI: 10.1037/a0026448
Source: PubMed


We recorded electroencephalogram (EEG; 6-9 Hz) and heart rate (HR) from infants at 5 and 10 months of age during baseline and performance on the looking A-not-B task of infant working memory (WM). Longitudinal baseline-to-task comparisons revealed WM-related increases in EEG power (all electrodes) and EEG coherence (medial frontal-occipital electrode pairs) at both ages. WM-related decreases in HR were only present at 5 months, and WM-related increases in EEG coherence became more localized by 10 months. Regression analyses revealed that baseline-to-task changes in psychophysiology accounted for variability in WM performance at 10 but not 5 months. HR and EEG power (medial frontal and lateral frontal electrodes) were unique predictors of variability in 10-month WM performance. These findings are discussed in relation to frontal lobe development and represent the first comprehensive longitudinal analysis of age-related changes in the behavioral and psychophysiological correlates of WM.

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