Inhibition and prefrontal lobe functioning in preterm and full-term infants
This study examines inhibition in preterm at eight months after expected date of delivery (when preterm infants were actually 10-11 months chronological age) and full-term infants at eight months. Inhibition emerges in infancy and continues to develop throughout childhood. Inhibition is believed to underlie some behavioral and learning problems in children at school age. Thirty-seven preterm infants without identified disabilities, and 74 due date and gender matched healthy full-term infants, participated in the present study. The preterm infants were all less than 32 weeks gestation and less than 1,500 grams birthweight. All infants were therefore assessed on inhibition to prepotent response and inhibitioni to distraction of external stimuli tasks at 8 months after the expected date of delivery. The findings of the study showed that preterm infants performed significantly more poorly than full-term infants at both eight months corrected age and 10-11 month chronological age on measures of in inhibition to prepotent response and inhibitioni to distraction of external stimuli tasks. Medical risk, lower birthweight and lower gestation age were found significantly affect the performance on inhibition tasks. The results of this study suggests that the deficits of inhibition in preterm infants may be associated with lower birthweight, shorter gestatation and medical complications.
International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health