PSYC23H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Electroencephalography, Fetus, Mental Model
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Psychobiological Roots of Early Attachment
the unique features of early infant attachment reflect certain unique features of early infant sensory
and motor integration, learning, communication, and motivation, as well as the regulation of
biobehavioral systems by the mother–infant interaction
Bowls oept of attahet as a uiue otiatioal sste that as gaduall foud to e
incapable of generating testable hypotheses that could explain several puzzling observations.
What Creates and Attachment Bond
predispositions can be created prenatally, in the fetus, to respond preferentially to specific maternal
scents and sounds, and that these predispositions prepare the way for the next phase in the
development of attachment.
new- born rats revealed a rapid and powerful learning capacity by which neonates acquire the ability
to discriminate, prefer, approach, and maintain proximity to their own mother.
human newborns and young infants interacted with their mothers entirely through reflex and fixed-
Researchers discovered that for the first 10 days after birth, an aversive level of stimulation (e.g., tail
pinch, mild shock) that itself elicits vigorous escape behavior will paradoxically induce approach and
preference for an odor previously associated with it.
Why is Early Maternal Separation Stressful
The separation response is explained as deriving from the strong affective nature of the bond, which
he seeed o uptued sepaatio esults i a seies of tauati eotioal eatios:
o the iphasi potest–despai espose, i hih a iitial ust of allig ad atie seah
behavior is followed by a long decline in behavioral responsiveness
individual behavioral and physiological systems of the infant rat was responding to the loss of one or
aothe of the opoets e.g., utiet, theal/etaoli, o sesoioto of the ifats
previous interaction with its mother and that the complex response to separation was due to the
withdrawal of all these components at once.
It was found that providing one of these components, warmth, to a separated pup prevented the slow
delie i the pups geeal atiit leel a espose siila to Bols despai phase, ut this had
no effect on responses in other systems.
It was concluded from these surprising results that warmth pro- vided by the mother normally
aitaied the pups atiit leel ad that he ilk aitaied he pups heat ate.
Maternal separation withdrew these regulatory influences that were hid- den within the ordinary
mother–infant interactions, resulting in slowed behavior and low heart rate.
Also studied sleep/wake states using an electroencephalograph and found that the durations of bouts
of sleeping and waking and the smooth transitions between them were maintained (regulated) by the
periodicity or rhythm of maternal milk supply and tactile interactions, rather than simply by their level.
o After 24 hours of separation, the REM-sleep time of pups remaining in their home cage was
sharply decreased and slow-wave sleep was fragmented by frequent short awakenings.
o Only scheduled periodic bouts of nutrient infusion and tactile stimulation prevented this.
Reciprocity, imitation, attunement, and play are now being investigated for their roles in regulating the
as affective state and his or her developing capacity to self-regulate and later engage in complex
social interactions outside the parental relationship.
Mother–infant relationship raises the question of whether, in addition, they might be responsible for
regulating the course of development over time
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