Developmental Psychobiology: The Significance of Infancy

By Lewis P. Lipsitt | Go to book overview

1 Heart Rate: A Sensitive Tool for the Study of Emotional Development in the Infant

Joseph J. Campos

University of Denver

Psychophysiological responses seem to be especially well suited to the study of the human infant. First, they are extremely sensitive to changes in psychological state, often more so than behavioral measures. The electroencephalogram (EEG), for example, can differentiate states of sleep that are not readily discriminable from behavioral observations alone ( Rechtschaffen & Kales, 1968). Second, physiological responses are nonverbal and so are of particular benefit in studies of nonverbal subjects, such as infants. Third, they have an impressive history in studies of learning, habituation, psychophysics, and emotion. As a result, the parameters affecting these responses are often better known than the parameters affecting less studied responses. Fourth, they can be used in longitudinal studies in ways in which overt, coordinated behavioral responses cannot, either because the physiological response is already functional at birth or because the emergence of the response reflects important biological milestones [for example, the development of the EEG K complex ( Emde, Gaensbauer, & Harmon, 1976)].


WHY HEART RATE RESPONSES ARE WIDELY USED WITH INFANTS

Many physiological responses have been used in infant studies; of all of these, heart rate (HR) has proved the most sensitive and reliable. In this chapter, some of the major research areas in which HR has been fruit-

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Developmental Psychobiology: The Significance of Infancy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Contributors ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • 1: Heart Rate: A Sensitive Tool for the Study of Emotional Development in the Infant 1
  • Acknowledgments 26
  • References 26
  • Comments on "Heart Rate: A Sensitive Tool for the Study of Emotional Development in the Infant" 32
  • References 34
  • 2: Infancy, Biology, and Culture 35
  • References 53
  • Comments on "Infancy, Biology, and Culture" 55
  • References 57
  • 3: Genetic Determinants of Infant Development: An Overstated Case 59
  • References 77
  • Comments on "Genetic Determinants of Infant Development: An Overstated Case" 80
  • References 85
  • 4: From Reflexive to Instrumental Behavior 87
  • Acknowledgments 103
  • References 103
  • Comments on "From Reflexive to Instrumental Behavior" 105
  • References 106
  • A Reply to Freedman 107
  • References 108
  • 5: Developmental Psychobiology Comes of Age: A Discussion 109
  • References 126
  • 6: Three Themes in Develomental Psychobiology 129
  • References 137
  • Author Index 139
  • Topical Index 143
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