The Effect of Maternal Maltreatment on the Prefrontal Cognitive Function of Juvenile Rhesus Monkeys Open Access

Fomalont, Kevin Joseph (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/4q77fr843?locale=en
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Abstract

Early life stress can have a major impact on the biological and behavioral development. Using a nonhuman primate model of early life stress (infant maltreatment in rhesus monkeys), offspring were cross-fostered to either mothers that spontaneously maltreat their infants or mothers that exhibit species-appropriate behaviors. Previous research has shown that early life stress has deleterious effects on executive function, response inhibition and cognitive flexibility. Therefore, the offspring were studied during the prepubertal period (20-24 months of age) on four different cognitive tasks with a main focus on prefrontal cortex-related functions: object retrieval detour, delayed non-match to sample trial unique/session unique, and object discrimination. These tasks revealed no significant differences between control and maltreated monkeys in working memory, impulsivity, cognitive flexibility, or perseveration. These results failed to demonstrate maltreatment-induced long-term deficits in prefrontal cognitive function at least during the prepubertal juvenile period.

Table of Contents

Introduction...1 Methods...21 Results...31 Discussion...33 References...43

Figure 1: Mean Number of ORD Habituation Days...56

Figure 2: Mean Total Reaches during ORD Task in Control and Maltreatment Groups...57

Figure 3: Mean Barrier Reaches during ORD Task in Control and Maltreatment Groups...58

Figure 4: Mean Global Perseverative Reaches during ORD Task in Control and Maltreatment Groups...59

Figure 5: Mean Reversal Perseverative Reaches during ORD Task in Control and Maltreatment Groups...60

Figure 6: Mean Total Perseverative Reaches during ORD Task in Control and Maltreatment Groups...61

Figure 7: Mean Number of Total Reaches during Easy Trials of the ORD Task between the Control and Maltreatment Groups...62

Figure 8: Mean Number of Barrier Reaches during Easy Trials of the ORD Task between the Control and Maltreatment Groups...63

Figure 9: Mean Number of Total Reaches during Moderate Trials of the ORD Task between the Control and Maltreatment Groups...64

Figure 10: Mean Number of Barrier Reaches during Moderate Trials of the ORD Task between the Control and Maltreatment Groups...65

Figure 11: Mean Number of Global Perseverative Reaches during Moderate Trials of the ORD Task between the Control and Maltreatment Groups...66

Figure 12: Mean Number of Total Reaches during Difficult Trials of the ORD Task between the Control and Maltreatment Groups...67

Figure 13: Mean Number of Barrier Reaches during Difficult Trials of the ORD Task between the Control and Maltreatment Groups...68

Figure 14: Mean Number of Global Perseverative Reaches during Difficult Trials of the ORD Task between the Control and Maltreatment Groups...69

Figure 15: Pearson Correlation between Abuse Rates per Hour and Number of Perseverative Reaches in the ORD Task...70

Figure 16: Mean Number of Delayed Non-Match to Sample Shaping Days in Control and Maltreatment Groups...71

Figure 17: Mean Number of Errors to Criterion in the Control and Maltreatment Groups during the Delayed Non-Match to Sample Trial Unique Task...72

Figure 18: Mean Number of Trials to Criterion in the Control and Maltreatment Groups in the Delayed Non-Match to Sample Trial Unique Task...73

Figure 19: Mean Number of Error Trials in the Control and Maltreatment Groups during the Delayed Non-Match to Sample Session Unique Task...74

Figure 20: Mean Number of Trials to Criterion in the Control and Maltreatment Groups in the Delayed Non-Match to Sample Session Unique Task...75

Figure 21: Mean Number of Errors to criterion in the Control and Maltreatment Groups during the Object Discrimination Task...76

Figure 22: Mean Number of Trials to Criterion in the Control and Maltreatment Groups in the Object Discrimination Task...77

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