Maltreatment, Event-Related Potentials, and Memory
Research utilizing event-related potentials (ERPs) has greatly advanced knowledge concerning the neural underpinnings of a variety of cognitive processes in both children and adults. This methodology has also allowed for an examination of changes in the neural processes associated with cognitive development from early infancy through to young adulthood. This chapter begins with a brief technical and historical overview of ERP methodology, and this is followed by a survey of the major findings of ERP studies examining normative memory functioning in infants and children. The review of ERP and memory in normal populations sets the stage for a more comprehensive understanding of the patterns of findings in ERP research with children who have experienced maltreatment. Finally, the chapter suggests future research directions on ERPs and memory in samples of maltreated and nonmaltreated infants and children, and discusses how such investigations could inform the design and implementation of randomized prevention and intervention trials with children who have experienced maltreatment.
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