Background The quality of early experiences with caregivers affects individual adjustment and can modulate adults' responses to salient social stimuli, like infant faces. However, in the framework of Interpersonal Acceptance-Rejection Theory (IPARTheory), no research to date has examined whether early experiences of acceptance or rejection from caregivers are associated with individual differences in the electrophysiological (EEG) responses to infant faces. Objective This study examined the associations between the perceived quality of care during childhood and the behavioral and EEG responses to infant and adult faces in non-parent young adults. Methods N = 60 non-parent young adults (30 males; 30 females) completed an Emotion Recognition task displaying emotional and unemotional infant and adult faces during an EEG recording. Memories of past care experiences with mothers and fathers were collected using the short form version of the Parental Acceptance-Rejection scale. Results At the behavioral level, slower Reaction Times (RTs) in recognizing all faces were related to higher levels of perceived maternal rejection in young adults; in particular, males who reported higher levels of maternal rejection displayed longer RTs in recognizing faces compared to females. At the neurophysiological level, as the level of perceived paternal rejection increased, the N170 amplitude to infant faces increased. Females who reported higher levels of paternal rejection, compared to males, had a larger increase in the N170 amplitude and a larger decrease in the LPP amplitude in response to emotional faces. Conclusions While a higher perception of maternal rejection hindered the behavioral responses of adults in recognizing faces, those who felt more rejected by their own father during childhood showed an enhanced N170 amplitude to infant faces. This might reflect a greater need for discrimination resources, at a very early stage of infant face processing, in those adults who perceived higher levels of paternal rejection. Adults' sex modulated the associations found at the behavioral and neurophysiological levels. Overall, our findings extended the IPARTheory postulates that being neglected during childhood might trigger perceptual changes in adults, hindering the elaboration of social cues like infant and adult faces at different levels.

EEG responses to infant faces in young adults can be influenced by the quality of early care experiences with caregivers / Gemignani, Micol; de Falco, Simona. - In: CHILD ABUSE & NEGLECT. - ISSN 0145-2134. - 154:106874(2024). [10.1016/j.chiabu.2024.106874]

EEG responses to infant faces in young adults can be influenced by the quality of early care experiences with caregivers

Gemignani, Micol
Primo
;
de Falco, Simona
Ultimo
2024-01-01

Abstract

Background The quality of early experiences with caregivers affects individual adjustment and can modulate adults' responses to salient social stimuli, like infant faces. However, in the framework of Interpersonal Acceptance-Rejection Theory (IPARTheory), no research to date has examined whether early experiences of acceptance or rejection from caregivers are associated with individual differences in the electrophysiological (EEG) responses to infant faces. Objective This study examined the associations between the perceived quality of care during childhood and the behavioral and EEG responses to infant and adult faces in non-parent young adults. Methods N = 60 non-parent young adults (30 males; 30 females) completed an Emotion Recognition task displaying emotional and unemotional infant and adult faces during an EEG recording. Memories of past care experiences with mothers and fathers were collected using the short form version of the Parental Acceptance-Rejection scale. Results At the behavioral level, slower Reaction Times (RTs) in recognizing all faces were related to higher levels of perceived maternal rejection in young adults; in particular, males who reported higher levels of maternal rejection displayed longer RTs in recognizing faces compared to females. At the neurophysiological level, as the level of perceived paternal rejection increased, the N170 amplitude to infant faces increased. Females who reported higher levels of paternal rejection, compared to males, had a larger increase in the N170 amplitude and a larger decrease in the LPP amplitude in response to emotional faces. Conclusions While a higher perception of maternal rejection hindered the behavioral responses of adults in recognizing faces, those who felt more rejected by their own father during childhood showed an enhanced N170 amplitude to infant faces. This might reflect a greater need for discrimination resources, at a very early stage of infant face processing, in those adults who perceived higher levels of paternal rejection. Adults' sex modulated the associations found at the behavioral and neurophysiological levels. Overall, our findings extended the IPARTheory postulates that being neglected during childhood might trigger perceptual changes in adults, hindering the elaboration of social cues like infant and adult faces at different levels.
2024
106874
Gemignani, Micol; de Falco, Simona
EEG responses to infant faces in young adults can be influenced by the quality of early care experiences with caregivers / Gemignani, Micol; de Falco, Simona. - In: CHILD ABUSE & NEGLECT. - ISSN 0145-2134. - 154:106874(2024). [10.1016/j.chiabu.2024.106874]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/416950
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