Repository logo
 

Optical imaging during toddlerhood: brain responses during naturalistic social interactions.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Pirazzoli, Laura 
Blasi, Anna 
Johnson, Mark H 
Lloyd-Fox, Sarah 

Abstract

Despite the importance of our ability to interact and communicate with others, the early development of the social brain network remains poorly understood. We examined brain activity in 12- to 14-month-old infants while they were interacting live with an adult in two different naturalistic social scenarios (i.e., reading a picture book versus singing nursery rhymes with gestures), as compared to baseline (i.e., showing infants a toy without eye contact or speech). We used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) recorded over the right temporal lobe of infants to assess the role of the superior temporal sulcus-temporoparietal junction (STS-TPJ) region during naturalistic social interactions. We observed increased cortical activation in the STS-TPJ region to live social stimuli in both socially engaging conditions compared to baseline during real life interaction, with greater activation evident for the joint attention (reading book) condition relative to the social nursery rhymes. These results supported the view that the STS-TPJ region, engaged in the cortical social brain network, is already specialized in infants for processing social signals and is sensitive to communicative situations. This study also highlighted the potential of fNIRS for studying brain function in infants entering toddlerhood during live social interaction.

Description

Keywords

functional near-infrared spectroscopy, joint attention, social interactions, social signals, superior temporal sulcus, temporoparietal junction

Journal Title

Neurophotonics

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2329-423X
2329-4248

Volume Title

5

Publisher

SPIE-Intl Soc Optical Eng

Rights

Publisher's own licence
Sponsorship
Medical Research Council (G0701484)
Medical Research Council (G0701484/1)