Study Title: Timing of Intervention Affects Brain Electrical Activity in Children Exposed to Severe Psychosocial Neglect
Authors: Ross E. Vanderwert, Peter J. Marshall, Charles A. Nelson III, Charles H. Zeanah, Nathan A. Fox
Early psychosocial deprivation has profound effects on brain activity in the young child. Previous reports have shown increased power in slow frequencies of the electroencephalogram (EEG), primarily in the theta band, and decreased power in higher alpha and beta band frequencies in infants and children who have experienced institutional care.
We assessed the consequences of removing infants from institutions and placing them into a foster care intervention on brain electrical activity when children were 8 years of age. We found the intervention was successful for increasing high frequency EEG alpha power, with effects being most pronounced for children placed into foster care before 24 months of age.
The dependence on age of placement for the effects observed on high frequency EEG alpha power suggests a sensitive period after which brain activity in the face of severe psychosocial deprivation is less amenable to recovery.
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