Maternal mindfulness and anxiety during pregnancy affect infants’ neural responses to sounds

M.I. van den Heuvel, F.C.L. Donkers, I. Winkler, R.A. Otte, B.R.H. Van Den Bergh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Maternal anxiety during pregnancy has been consistently shown to negatively affect offspring neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, little is known about the impact of positive maternal traits/states during pregnancy on the offspring. The present study was aimed at investigating the effects of the mother’s mindfulness and anxiety during pregnancy on the infant’s neurocognitive functioning at 9 months of age. Mothers reported mindfulness using the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory and anxiety using the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) at ±20.7 weeks of gestation. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured from 79 infants in an auditory oddball paradigm designed to measure auditory attention—a key aspect of early neurocognitive functioning. For the ERP responses elicited by standard sounds, higher maternal mindfulness was associated with lower N250 amplitudes (P < 0.01, η2 = 0.097), whereas higher maternal anxiety was associated with higher N250 amplitudes (P < 0.05, η2 = 0.057). Maternal mindfulness was also positively associated with the P150 amplitudes (P < 0.01, η2 = 0.130). These results suggest that infants prenatally exposed to higher levels of maternal mindfulness devote fewer attentional resources to frequently occurring irrelevant sounds. The results show that positive traits and experiences of the mother during pregnancy may also affect the unborn child. Emphasizing the beneficial effects of a positive psychological state during pregnancy may promote healthy behavior in pregnant women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-460
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Mothers
Checklist
Equipment and Supplies

Cite this

van den Heuvel, M.I. ; Donkers, F.C.L. ; Winkler, I. ; Otte, R.A. ; Van Den Bergh, B.R.H. / Maternal mindfulness and anxiety during pregnancy affect infants’ neural responses to sounds. In: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2015 ; Vol. 10, No. 3. pp. 453-460.
@article{d3ef373457a145a089deaf0bfec3fdd0,
title = "Maternal mindfulness and anxiety during pregnancy affect infants’ neural responses to sounds",
abstract = "Maternal anxiety during pregnancy has been consistently shown to negatively affect offspring neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, little is known about the impact of positive maternal traits/states during pregnancy on the offspring. The present study was aimed at investigating the effects of the mother’s mindfulness and anxiety during pregnancy on the infant’s neurocognitive functioning at 9 months of age. Mothers reported mindfulness using the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory and anxiety using the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) at ±20.7 weeks of gestation. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured from 79 infants in an auditory oddball paradigm designed to measure auditory attention—a key aspect of early neurocognitive functioning. For the ERP responses elicited by standard sounds, higher maternal mindfulness was associated with lower N250 amplitudes (P < 0.01, η2 = 0.097), whereas higher maternal anxiety was associated with higher N250 amplitudes (P < 0.05, η2 = 0.057). Maternal mindfulness was also positively associated with the P150 amplitudes (P < 0.01, η2 = 0.130). These results suggest that infants prenatally exposed to higher levels of maternal mindfulness devote fewer attentional resources to frequently occurring irrelevant sounds. The results show that positive traits and experiences of the mother during pregnancy may also affect the unborn child. Emphasizing the beneficial effects of a positive psychological state during pregnancy may promote healthy behavior in pregnant women.",
author = "{van den Heuvel}, M.I. and F.C.L. Donkers and I. Winkler and R.A. Otte and {Van Den Bergh}, B.R.H.",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1093/scan/nsu075",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
pages = "453--460",
journal = "Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience",
issn = "1749-5016",
publisher = "OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC",
number = "3",

}

Maternal mindfulness and anxiety during pregnancy affect infants’ neural responses to sounds. / van den Heuvel, M.I.; Donkers, F.C.L.; Winkler, I.; Otte, R.A.; Van Den Bergh, B.R.H.

In: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2015, p. 453-460.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Maternal mindfulness and anxiety during pregnancy affect infants’ neural responses to sounds

AU - van den Heuvel, M.I.

AU - Donkers, F.C.L.

AU - Winkler, I.

AU - Otte, R.A.

AU - Van Den Bergh, B.R.H.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Maternal anxiety during pregnancy has been consistently shown to negatively affect offspring neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, little is known about the impact of positive maternal traits/states during pregnancy on the offspring. The present study was aimed at investigating the effects of the mother’s mindfulness and anxiety during pregnancy on the infant’s neurocognitive functioning at 9 months of age. Mothers reported mindfulness using the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory and anxiety using the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) at ±20.7 weeks of gestation. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured from 79 infants in an auditory oddball paradigm designed to measure auditory attention—a key aspect of early neurocognitive functioning. For the ERP responses elicited by standard sounds, higher maternal mindfulness was associated with lower N250 amplitudes (P < 0.01, η2 = 0.097), whereas higher maternal anxiety was associated with higher N250 amplitudes (P < 0.05, η2 = 0.057). Maternal mindfulness was also positively associated with the P150 amplitudes (P < 0.01, η2 = 0.130). These results suggest that infants prenatally exposed to higher levels of maternal mindfulness devote fewer attentional resources to frequently occurring irrelevant sounds. The results show that positive traits and experiences of the mother during pregnancy may also affect the unborn child. Emphasizing the beneficial effects of a positive psychological state during pregnancy may promote healthy behavior in pregnant women.

AB - Maternal anxiety during pregnancy has been consistently shown to negatively affect offspring neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, little is known about the impact of positive maternal traits/states during pregnancy on the offspring. The present study was aimed at investigating the effects of the mother’s mindfulness and anxiety during pregnancy on the infant’s neurocognitive functioning at 9 months of age. Mothers reported mindfulness using the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory and anxiety using the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) at ±20.7 weeks of gestation. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured from 79 infants in an auditory oddball paradigm designed to measure auditory attention—a key aspect of early neurocognitive functioning. For the ERP responses elicited by standard sounds, higher maternal mindfulness was associated with lower N250 amplitudes (P < 0.01, η2 = 0.097), whereas higher maternal anxiety was associated with higher N250 amplitudes (P < 0.05, η2 = 0.057). Maternal mindfulness was also positively associated with the P150 amplitudes (P < 0.01, η2 = 0.130). These results suggest that infants prenatally exposed to higher levels of maternal mindfulness devote fewer attentional resources to frequently occurring irrelevant sounds. The results show that positive traits and experiences of the mother during pregnancy may also affect the unborn child. Emphasizing the beneficial effects of a positive psychological state during pregnancy may promote healthy behavior in pregnant women.

U2 - 10.1093/scan/nsu075

DO - 10.1093/scan/nsu075

M3 - Article

VL - 10

SP - 453

EP - 460

JO - Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

JF - Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

SN - 1749-5016

IS - 3

ER -