A significant proportion of variation in health outcomes and disease risk is attributable to developmental processes during fetal life in response to a variety of environmental influences. However, the precise nature of the exposure and the mechanisms by which early environmental signals influence life-long cognitive and emotional outcomes are unknown. Recent findings in rodents (Project 1) indicate that exposure to fragmented patterns of maternal signals profoundly influence emotional and cognitive outcomes already in adolescence. In the human, we have found strong evidence for the effect of maternal parameters, including anxiety and depression, on fetal, infant and child neurobehavioral outcome. Guided bv the constructive comments of the Reviewers and supported by our strong new data, we propose the novel examination of the influence of fragmented maternal emotional states and patterns of salient physiological signals during fetal life on later emotional and cognitive vulnerabilities. In strong support of a role for fragmentation of maternal signal on outcome, our prospective study [3] uncovered the novel finding that mental development of 12 month old infants is enhanced when their prenatal and postnatal exposure to maternal emotional states are consistent, even if these maternal states are depressive. Fragmented / inconsistent pre-and postnatal maternal emotional states were associated with impaired infant cognitive outcome. . Within the revised Center approach, Project 2 will interact closely with Projects 3,4 and the Computational core to 1) Test the hypothesis that fetal exposure to fragmented maternal emotional states increases vulnerabilities to cognitive and emotional deficits during infancy and (with Projects 3,4), later in life. (2) Guided by the reviewers, we will formally test if fetal exposure to fragmented patterns of maternal heart beats is a salient signal that increases vulnerabilities to cognitive and emotional deficits during infancy. (3) Test the hypothesis that inconsistency between pre- and postnatal maternal emotional states will increase the vulnerability to cognitive and emotional deficits in 1 year-old children. (4) Test the hypothesis that fetal vulnerability to fragmentation and unpredictability is sex-dependent. The comprehensively revised Project 2 will focus on several validated measures of maternal signals, explore innovative ones, arid integrate with the other projects and Cores of the revised Center. Exploiting the unique resource of a human cohort followed from fetal life to adolescence, the Project will contribute significantly to the rigorous evaluation of the role of fragmented patterns of sensory signals during fetal life on adolescent emotional and cognitive vulnerabilities

Public Health Relevance

A significant proportion of variation in childhood and adult health and disease risk is attributable to developmental processes during fetal life. The unparalleled growth and development exhibited by the human fetus is the most understudied transition in the human life cycle. Recent evidence indicates that fragmented maternal signals contribute to vulnerabilities to mental illness. Project 2 is the only study to examine these signals and the consequences in the human fetus.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Specialized Center (P50)
Project #
1P50MH096889-01A1
Application #
8654008
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-L (02))
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2013-06-17
Budget End
2014-04-30
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$456,836
Indirect Cost
$74,189
Name
University of California Irvine
Department
Type
DUNS #
046705849
City
Irvine
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
92697
Molet, J; Heins, K; Zhuo, X et al. (2016) Fragmentation and high entropy of neonatal experience predict adolescent emotional outcome. Transl Psychiatry 6:e702
Chen, Yuncai; Baram, Tallie Z (2016) Toward Understanding How Early-Life Stress Reprograms Cognitive and Emotional Brain Networks. Neuropsychopharmacology 41:197-206
Schoemaker, Dorothee; Buss, Claudia; Head, Kevin et al. (2016) Hippocampus and amygdala volumes from magnetic resonance images in children: Assessing accuracy of FreeSurfer and FSL against manual segmentation. Neuroimage 129:1-14
Chen, Yuncai; Molet, Jenny; Lauterborn, Julie C et al. (2016) Converging, Synergistic Actions of Multiple Stress Hormones Mediate Enduring Memory Impairments after Acute Simultaneous Stresses. J Neurosci 36:11295-11307
Stern, Hal S (2016) A Test by Any Other Name: P Values, Bayes Factors, and Statistical Inference. Multivariate Behav Res 51:23-9
Kim, Dae-Jin; Davis, Elysia Poggi; Sandman, Curt A et al. (2016) Children's intellectual ability is associated with structural network integrity. Neuroimage 124:550-6
Howland, Mariann A; Sandman, Curt A; Glynn, Laura M et al. (2016) Fetal exposure to placental corticotropin-releasing hormone is associated with child self-reported internalizing symptoms. Psychoneuroendocrinology 67:10-7
Maumet, Camille; Auer, Tibor; Bowring, Alexander et al. (2016) Sharing brain mapping statistical results with the neuroimaging data model. Sci Data 3:160102
Fox, Molly; Sandman, Curt A; Davis, Elysia Poggi et al. (2015) Intra-Individual Consistency in Endocrine Profiles Across Successive Pregnancies. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 100:4637-47
Chen, Yuncai; Molet, Jenny; Gunn, Benjamin G et al. (2015) Diversity of Reporter Expression Patterns in Transgenic Mouse Lines Targeting Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone-Expressing Neurons. Endocrinology 156:4769-80

Showing the most recent 10 out of 23 publications