Submitted to: Developmental Neuropsychology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2006
Publication Date: 6/15/2007
Citation: Jing, H., Pivik, R.T., Dykman, R.A., Gilchrist, J.M., Badger, T.M. 2007. Effects of breast milk and milk formula on synthesized speech sound-induced event-related potentials at 3 and 6 months of age. Developmental Neuropsychology. 31(3):349-362.
Interpretive Summary: It has been suggested that brain development and function in breast-fed infants is superior to that of formula-fed infants. We have been studying the effects of diet on brain and language development in children. We studied acquisition of two sounds, ba and pa, that are first learned by infants in language development. Brain responses to pa and ba were recorded and compared in breast-milk-fed infants and those fed milk-based formula. Our study did not find differences in the processing of sounds between the two infant groups at either 3 or 6 months. These data suggest that breast milk and milk formula may have similar effects on the investigated brain functions in the first months of life.
Technical Abstract: Effects of breast milk and milk formula supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid on speech processing were investigated by recording event-related potentials (ERPs) to synthesized /pa/ and /ba/ (oddball paradigm, 80%:20%) at 3 and 6 months of age. Behavioral assessment was also obtained. A major positive component (P200) was elicited by both types of sounds. It had a maximal scalp distribution in the fronto-central areas in both groups of infants. The mean latencies did not differ between the groups or between the stimulus types. However, the latencies decreased across age in both groups. The mean P200 amplitude in the formula-fed infants was lower than that in the breast-fed infants, but the difference was not significant. The between-stimulus differences in frontal P200 amplitudes were positively correlated with the behavioral scores of Bayley Index of Infant Development. These data suggest that the processing of the present speech stimuli is not affected by the investigated diets in the early infancy.