This book provides an overview of fetal psychobiological research, focusing on brain and behavior, genetic and epigenetic factors affecting both short and long-term development, and technological breakthroughs in the field. These focal points intersect throughout the chapters, as in the challenges of evaluating the fetal central nervous system, the myriad impacts of maternal stressors and resiliencies, and the salience of animal studies. It also discusses specific monitoring and assessment methods, including cardiotocography, biomagnetometry, 4D ultrasound, in utero MRI, and the KANET test. Spanning assessment, identification, and pre- and postnatal intervention, the book weighs the merits of standardized evaluations and argues for more integrative research in the future.
Included in the coverage:
Effects on the fetus of maternal anxiety, depression, and stress during pregnancy.
Clinical and experimental research in human fetuses and animal models.
Observational research including the use of behaviors in developing tests to assess fetal health.
Fetal auditory processing and implications for language development.
Fetal effects of prenatal exposure to selective SRI antidepressant exposure.
Structural and functional imaging of the prenatal brain.
The effects of alcohol exposure on fetal development.
Fetal Development: Research on Brain and Behavior, Environmental Influences, and Emerging Technologies is an essential resource for researchers, clinicians and related professionals, as well as students in a wide range of fields such as developmental psychology, pediatric and obstetrical medicine, neuroscience, nursing, social work, and early childhood education.
Nadja Reissland, D. PHIL (OXON), MA, BSc., is a Developmental Psychologist, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Deputy Head of the Science Faculty Durham University UK. Her work is at the forefront of the growing field of fetal psychology and is especially focused on fetal development in relation to maternal stress and depression, as well as early mother- infant interaction. Her pioneering research on fetal movements, specifically fetal facial movements, has potential applications for obstetricians helping to identify indicators of healthy development in utero. Her research program includes the effects of maternal mental health (stress and depression) as well as health behaviours (smoking) on fetal behaviour. Furthermore she evaluates behaviours including laterality, vision and precursors to language as evidence of the development of CNS function.
Barbara S. Kisilevsky, BN, MN, MA, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita, Queen's University, Kingston, ON Canada. With academic appointments in Nursing, Psychology, and Obstetrics & Gynaecology, she established an internationally recognized multidisciplinary research program in the area of sensory development in the perinatal period with collaborations in the USA, Europe and Asia. In over 30 years of examining behavior (e.g., cardiac, body movements) from a psychobiological perspective, she and colleagues have characterized auditory (e.g., white noise, music, mother's voice) and vibroacoustic sensitivity in fetuses in uneventful pregnancies; identified differential behaviors in fetuses in pregnancies complicated by conditions associated with placental insufficiency; determined sensory interventions to reduce behavioral and physiological responses of premature infants to `pain' stimuli; described mother-infant interactions cross-culturally; and, demonstrated a relationship between fetal voice/speech processing, newborn information processing, and infant language ability. Her laboratory has served as a training facility for international visiting scientists, PhD, MSc, and MA theses, and numerous undergraduate summer students.