Abstract # 179:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 23 (Salon G (Sixth Floor)) Poster Presentation


A. C. Chaffin1, D. J. Blocker1, C. Barr2, M. L. Schwandt2, S. Chefer2, E. Stein2, S. J. Suomi2 and J. D. Higley1
1Brigham Young University, Department of Psychology, Provo, Utah 84602, USA, 2National Institutes of Health, NICHD, NIAAA, and NIDA

Temperament is thought to be the foundation for personality and subsequent behaviors later in life. To date there is a lack of research relating temperament to brain development. To assess early temperamental variables and how they relate to brain development, this laboratory-based study examined infant behavior in group housed infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). The subjects were 15 mother-reared subjects housed in social groups of 12-20 subjects approximating natural conditions. Behavior was assessed using a standardized objective behavioral scoring system. Two 5-minute sessions were recorded weekly for each subject over 8 months and then again after a separation paradigm. Factor analysis was used to group intercorrelated behaviors. Neuroimaging of the same subjects 1-2 years later when subjects were 2-3 years of age was used to assess brain volume in various areas such as the hippocampus, frontal cortex, corpus callosum, and cerebellum. Results: Statistically significant correlations were found between the following factors and specific brain structures: home-cage- activity with corpus callosum, Hinde index mother/infant and sociality with prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, mother/infant relationship and aggression with medial cingulate cortex; post-separation- activity/exploration with corpus callosum, Hinde index mother and anxiety/irritability with cerebellum and being consoled with hippocampus. R-values were between 0.533 and 0.713 (p-values ranged from .004 to .049). These results suggest that various factors such as mother-infant relationships or temperament may be associated with brain development.