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Prenatal origins of temperament: fetal growth, brain structure, and inhibitory control in adolescence

Prenatal origins of temperament: fetal growth, brain structure, and inhibitory control in adolescence
Prenatal origins of temperament: fetal growth, brain structure, and inhibitory control in adolescence
OBJECTIVE: Individual differences in the temperamental dimension of effortful control are constitutionally based and have been associated with an adverse prenatal developmental environment, with structural brain alterations presenting a potential mechanism. We investigated this hypothesis for anatomically defined brain regions implicated in cognitive and inhibitory motor control.

METHODS: Twenty-seven 15-16 year old participants with low, medium, or high fetal growth were selected from a longitudinal birth cohort to maximize variation and represent the full normal spectrum of fetal growth. Outcome measures were parent ratings of attention and inhibitory control, thickness and surface area of the orbitofrontal cortex (lateral (LOFC) and medial (MOFC)) and right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG), and volumetric measures of the striatum and amygdala.

RESULTS: Lower birth weight was associated with lower inhibitory control, smaller surface area of LOFC, MOFC and rIFG, lower caudate volume, and thicker MOFC. A mediation model found a significant indirect effect of birth weight on inhibitory control via caudate volume.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support a neuroanatomical mechanism underlying potential long-term consequences of an adverse fetal developmental environment for behavioral inhibitory control in adolescence and have implications for understanding putative prenatal developmental origins of externalizing behavioral problems and self-control.

1932-6203
e96715
Schlotz, W.
49499d5e-4ff4-4ad3-b5f7-eec11b25b5db
Godfrey, K.M.
0931701e-fe2c-44b5-8f0d-ec5c7477a6fd
Phillips, D.I.
29b73be7-2ff9-4fff-ae42-d59842df4cc6
Schlotz, W.
49499d5e-4ff4-4ad3-b5f7-eec11b25b5db
Godfrey, K.M.
0931701e-fe2c-44b5-8f0d-ec5c7477a6fd
Phillips, D.I.
29b73be7-2ff9-4fff-ae42-d59842df4cc6

Schlotz, W., Godfrey, K.M. and Phillips, D.I. (2014) Prenatal origins of temperament: fetal growth, brain structure, and inhibitory control in adolescence. PLoS ONE, 9 (5), e96715. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096715). (PMID:24802625)

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Individual differences in the temperamental dimension of effortful control are constitutionally based and have been associated with an adverse prenatal developmental environment, with structural brain alterations presenting a potential mechanism. We investigated this hypothesis for anatomically defined brain regions implicated in cognitive and inhibitory motor control.

METHODS: Twenty-seven 15-16 year old participants with low, medium, or high fetal growth were selected from a longitudinal birth cohort to maximize variation and represent the full normal spectrum of fetal growth. Outcome measures were parent ratings of attention and inhibitory control, thickness and surface area of the orbitofrontal cortex (lateral (LOFC) and medial (MOFC)) and right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG), and volumetric measures of the striatum and amygdala.

RESULTS: Lower birth weight was associated with lower inhibitory control, smaller surface area of LOFC, MOFC and rIFG, lower caudate volume, and thicker MOFC. A mediation model found a significant indirect effect of birth weight on inhibitory control via caudate volume.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support a neuroanatomical mechanism underlying potential long-term consequences of an adverse fetal developmental environment for behavioral inhibitory control in adolescence and have implications for understanding putative prenatal developmental origins of externalizing behavioral problems and self-control.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 6 May 2014
Published date: 6 May 2014
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367388
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367388
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: 3f9f3133-d9de-4905-8aeb-1b431a1d4e05
ORCID for K.M. Godfrey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4643-0618

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Date deposited: 28 Aug 2014 14:35
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:35

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Contributors

Author: W. Schlotz
Author: K.M. Godfrey ORCID iD
Author: D.I. Phillips

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