Jerome Kagan (born February 25, ..
Rothbart, Kagan, Eisenberg, and Schermerhorn and Bates all highlight various ways in which early temperament may influence child development. One hypothesis that follows directly from Rothbart’s theory of temperament is that temperamental reactivity exerts its effects on child behaviour via the developing self-regulatory system. Recent developmental neuroscience work suggests that because of its dependence on the maturation of prefrontal-limbic connections, the development of self-regulatory processes is relatively protracted,24 from the development of basic and automatic regulation of physiology in infancy and toddlerhood to the more self-conscious and intentional regulation of cognition emerging in middle childhood.25 From a developmental perspective, then, opportunities for success and failure of self-regulation are numerous over the course of childhood, particularly given the potential of environmental factors such as parenting to facilitate or disrupt development in these domains.26 The next generation of temperament research will focus a great deal on the complex biological processes involved in these developmental pathways and the way these processes may be modified by the environment.
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The power of a temperamental bias is to restrict the acquisition of a particular personality trait, rather than determine any one profile. The probability that a high-reactive infant will not become an extremely sociable, spontaneous, relaxed adolescent, free of unrealistics worries and low levels of autonomic and cortical arousal is very high. However, the probability that this category of child will be a quiet, anxious introvert with high levels of autonomic and cortical arousal is low (probably about 20 percent). Thus, the biology that is the foundation of a temperamental bias functions as a constraint rather than as a determining force.
They’re compulsive, they don’t make errors, they’re careful when they’re coding data.” He said he would bet that when the United States sends people up in space, the steely, brave astronauts were low-reactive as infants, and the mission-control people down on the ground, doing the detail work that keeps the craft aloft, were high-reactive.
An anxious temperament might serve a more exalted function too.
Caregiver Sensitivity vs Temperament ..
Scientists were unable to study the relation of brain to mind until the invention of technologies that measured the brain activity accompanying psychological processes. Yet even with these new tools, conclusions are tentative or simply wrong. In this book, the distinguished psychologist Jerome Kagan describes five conditions that place serious constraints on the ability to predict mental or behavioral outcomes based on brain data: the setting in which evidence is gathered, the expectations of the subject, the source of the evidence that supports the conclusion, the absence of studies that examine patterns of causes with patterns of measures, and the habit of borrowing terms from psychology.
Kagan describes the important of context, and how the experimental setting—including the room, the procedure, and the species, age, and sex of both subject and examiner—can influence the conclusions. He explains how subject expectations affect all brain measures; considers why brain and psychological data often yield different conclusions; argues for relations between patterns of causes and outcomes rather than correlating single variables; and criticizes the borrowing of psychological terms to describe brain evidence. Brain sites cannot be in a state of “fear.”
A deeper understanding of the brain’s contributions to behavior, Kagan argues, requires investigators to acknowledge these five constraints in the design or interpretation of an experiment.
In a 1989 study of neglected ..
The authors examined the hypothesis that rhesus monkeys with extreme fight frontal electroencephalographic activity would have higher cortisol evels and would be more fearful compared with monkeys with extreme left frontal activity. The authors first showed that individual differences inasymmetric frontal electrical activity are a stable characteristic. Next, the authors demonstrated that relative fight asymmetric frontal activity and cortisol evels are correlated in animals 1 year of age. Additionally, extreme fight frontal animals had elevated cortisol concentrations and more intense defensive responses. At 3 years of age, extreme fight frontal animals continued to have elevated cortisol concentrations. These findings demonstrate important relations among extreme asymmetric frontal electrical activity, cortisol evels, and trait-like fear-related behaviors in young rhesus monkeys. Considerable evidence demonstrates that individual differ-ences in temperament are associated with differences in brain and peripheral physiological functioning (e.g., David-son & Tomarken, 1989; Kagan, Reznick, & Snidman, 1988). Thus, temperament can no longer be viewed simply as a
and later development with the Temperament Hypothesis
“Jerome Kagan’s coverage of constraints on behavior represents a remarkable summary that only one of psychology’s most distinguished scholars could provide. He captures much of modern brain science that bears on behavior and does so by spanning an incredibly diverse array of abilities across development and species, always paying homage to the field’s historical roots. With an emphasis on methodological rigor, Kagan warns of interpretive traps, yet offers an optimistic view that brain-behavior correlations, assessed by tasks in natural contexts, will lead to causal theories of our most complex cognitive achievements.”
—Richard N. Aslin, William R. Kenan Professor Emeritus, University of Rochester