Infant behavioral reactivity predicts change in amygdala volume 12 years later

Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2020 Apr;42:100776. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100776. Epub 2020 Mar 21.


The current study examined the link between temperamental reactivity in infancy and amygdala development in middle childhood. A sample (n = 291) of four-month-old infants was assessed for infant temperament, and two groups were identified: those exhibiting negative reactivity (n = 116) and those exhibiting positive reactivity (n = 106). At 10 and 12 years of age structural imaging was completed on a subset of these participants (n = 75). Results indicate that, between 10 and 12 years of age, left amygdala volume increased more slowly in those with negative compared to positive reactive temperament. These results provide novel evidence linking early temperament to distinct patterns of brain development over middle childhood.

Trial registration: NCT00018057.

Keywords: Amygdala; Brain; Development; Reactivity; Temperament.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior / physiology*
  • Male

Associated data