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Vigilance for threat accounts for inter-individual variation in physiological responses to adversity in rhesus macaques: A cognition × environment approach.

Authors
  • Mandalaywala, Tara M1
  • Petrullo, Lauren A2, 3
  • Parker, Karen J4
  • Maestripieri, Dario5, 6
  • Higham, James P2
  • 1 Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, New York.
  • 2 Department of Anthropology, New York University, New York, New York.
  • 3 Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York.
  • 4 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
  • 5 Institute for Mind and Biology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
  • 6 Department of Comparative Human Development, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Developmental Psychobiology
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2017
Volume
59
Issue
8
Pages
1031–1038
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/dev.21572
PMID: 29071705
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Early life adversity (ELA) can lead to poor health later in life. However, there is significant variation in outcomes, with some individuals displaying resilience even in the face of adversity. Using longitudinal data collected from free-ranging rhesus macaques between birth and 3 years, we examined whether individual variation in vigilance for threat, an early emerging attentional bias, can account for variation in long-term outcomes between individuals reared in similar environments. We found that ELA and vigilance during infancy interact to predict physiological dysregulation in Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) stress responses during juvenility. During high stress periods, High ELA juveniles with high vigilance exhibit less asymmetry than High ELA juveniles with low vigilance. This suggests that although increased vigilance is viewed as a negative consequence of ELA, it might also be a mechanism by which vulnerable individuals proactively buffer themselves from negative outcomes in unstable or threatening environments.

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