Alcohol-exposed babies respond more slowly to their environment, and take longer to calm down
Most of the research on arousal and attention deficits caused by prenatal alcohol exposure has been conducted with children. An innovative new study, published in the March issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, examines different components of attention through use of heart-rate data collected from six-month-old infants whose mothers drank during pregnancy. The findings indicate that slower processing speeds and arousal-regulation problems exist as early as infancy.
"The postnatal environment that children experience has a tremendous impact on childrens cognitive status and attentional regulation skills," explained Julie A. Kable, assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine and first author of the study. "Children of women who consume large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy and/or are substance abusers often experience family environments that do not support optimal development. As a result, when you examine older children it is often difficult to partition out the impact of the prenatal exposure with the impact of the postnatal environment. Assessments conducted closer in time to the insult provide a more accurate picture of the teratogenic effect."
Julie A. Kable | EurekAlert!
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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