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Lecture 3

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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Haley

Reading Lecture 3: Psychobiological Roots of Early Attachment (HOFER)  It has become apparent that the unique features of early infant attachment reflect certain unique features of early infant sensory and motor integration  Developmental psychobiology research focuses on simpler processes at work within the interactions between infant and parent such as orientation, nursing, eary learning, thermoregulation and sensorimotor system dev What Creates an attachment bond?  Predispoistions can be created prenatally, in the fetus, to respond rpeferentially to specific maternal scents= prep the way for the next phase in the dev of attachment  Experimental learning paradigm: in new born rates= rapid and powerful learning capacity by neonates who were able to acquire a the ability to discriminate, prefer, approach and maintain proximity to mom odor linked to mom/mesh= associative learning in early age  Sullivan shock experiment: for the first 10 days after birth, aversive level of stim that elicts usually a escape behavior will induce approach behavior and preference for an odor associated with it after 10 days the associative pairing results in avoidance of the odor (like normal) aversive preference learning happens later Why is early maternal separation stressful?  There is usully a traumatic emotional reaction for separation= biphasic protest-despair response= initial burst of calling and active search behavior is followed by a long decline in behavioral responsiveness  Like primate infants, infant rats show a complex biphasic protest-despair response to maternal separation and other unexpected responses as well  Changes such as increase HR, were result of novel mechanism  Each of the individual behavior and physiological systems in rat were responding to the loss of one or another of the components of the infants previous interaction with mom (sensorimotor or nutrient or thermal/metabolic components)  Providing warmth to a separated pup= prevented slow decline in pups general activity level  Cardiac rate maintained by continuous infusion of milk into stomach  Tactile stimulation during 24h separation period prevented increase in pups behavioral response ot being moved into a novel test chamber  These kinds of simple maternal regulators would be found early in a babys postnatal period  Response to separation does not depend on the concept of “broken bond” but can be explained via regulatory processes in the mother infant interaction How Can early Relationships have lasting effects  Found that if rat pups are separated frm their moms at 15 days instead of 21/20 days they can survive but will be deprived of maternal regulation during that period of their dev  Early weaning doesn’t affect vulnerability of adulthood stress @ 120 days  Early weaners in early ad (25-35 days) showed ulcers that were deeper and larger ones than those of adults and no normally reared rats got ulcers at this age  At 17 days og age= after removal of mom= no one ulcerated  Later adulthood early waners (160 days) were les
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