Electrophysiologic evidence of impaired cross-modal recognition memory in 8-month-old infants of diabetic mothers

Charles A. Nelson, Sandi S. Wewerka, Alissa J. Borscheid, Raye Ann DeRegnier, Michael K Georgieff

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59 Scopus citations


Objectives: Previous studies have shown deficits in auditory and visual reeognition memory in infants of diabetic mothers. The purpose of this study was to further investigate memory development in infants of diabetic mothers (IDMs) by evaluating cross-modal recognition memory followed by behavioral memory testing at 8 months of age. Study design: Cross-modal (tactile to vision) recognition memory was evaluated using event related potentials. Control and IDMs palpated an object without seeing it and were then tested on their ability to recognize that object visually. Infants were then tested behaviorally on their ability to recognize and discriminate faces. The Bayley Scales of Infant Development was administered at 12 months of age. Results: Control infants showed typical event-related potential patterns indicative of intact cross-modal recognition memory, whereas the IDMs did not show any evidence of recognition of the palpated object. Neither group showed behavioral evidence of visual recognition memory. Both groups had Bayley scores in the normal range, although controls had slightly higher mental development index scores than IDMs. Conclusions: IDMs showed neurophysiologic evidence of persistent subtle impairments in hippocampally-based recognition memory, despite having normal one-year developmental scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-582
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by grants from the NIH to authors Nelson (NS32755) and Georgieff (HD29421) and to the Clinical Research Center (RR00400-33S).


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