Electrophysiologic evidence of impaired cross-modal recognition memory in 8-month-old infants of diabetic mothers

J Pediatr. 2003 May;142(5):575-82. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2003.210.


Objectives: Previous studies have shown deficits in auditory and visual recognition memory in infants of diabetic mothers. The purpose of this study was to further investigate memory development in infants of diabetic mothers (IDMs) by evaluating cross-modal recognition memory followed by behavioral memory testing at 8 months of age.

Study design: Cross-modal (tactile to vision) recognition memory was evaluated using event related potentials. Control and IDMs palpated an object without seeing it and were then tested on their ability to recognize that object visually. Infants were then tested behaviorally on their ability to recognize and discriminate faces. The Bayley Scales of Infant Development was administered at 12 months of age.

Results: Control infants showed typical event-related potential patterns indicative of intact cross-modal recognition memory, whereas the IDMs did not show any evidence of recognition of the palpated object. Neither group showed behavioral evidence of visual recognition memory. Both groups had Bayley scores in the normal range, although controls had slightly higher mental development index scores than IDMs.

Conclusions: IDMs showed neurophysiologic evidence of persistent subtle impairments in hippocampally-based recognition memory, despite having normal one-year developmental scores.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Child Development
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / complications*
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*
  • Touch / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology