Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition CenterTitle: Semantic memory processing is enhanced in preadolescents breastfed compared to those formula-fed as infants: An ERP N400 study of sentential semantic congruity Author
Submitted to: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/31/2014
Publication Date: 4/15/2014
Citation: Pivik, R.T., Andres, A., Snow, J.H., Ou, X., Casey, P.H., Badger, T.M. 2014. Semantic memory processing is enhanced in preadolescents breastfed compared to those formula-fed as infants: An ERP N400 study of sentential semantic congruity [abstract]. The FASEB Journal. 28(1 Supplement):629.1. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Studies comparing child cognitive development and brain activity during cognitive functions between children who were fed breast milk (BF), milk formula (MF), or soy formula (SF) have not been reported. We recorded event-related scalp potentials reflecting semantic processing (N400 ERP) from 20 homologous hemispheric sites in 8-yr-old children [BF (n=21), MF (n=19), or SF (n=17)]. Children listened to sentences in which the final words did or did not make sense within the sentence context. Infant feeding histories and current cognitive status (standardized tests of IQ, language, and memory) were documented. Group responses were similar for congruent words, but semantic processing of incongruent words was greater in BF children [higher amplitude responses over left hemisphere central-parietal sites in BF than other groups (Analyses of Variance with Tukey-Kramer post-hoc tests: central: BF > SF; parietal: BF>MF, all p < .05)]. There were no significant group differences on measures of general cognitive development. These findings are the first to demonstrate a relationship between infant diet and preadolescent brain activity associated with semantic activation—a process fundamental to language comprehension—and show this activity is greatest in children who were breastfed.