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Science 300 (5627): 1952-1953

Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Inhibited and Uninhibited Infants "Grown Up": Adult Amygdalar Response to Novelty

Carl E. Schwartz,1,2,3* Christopher I. Wright,2,3,4 Lisa M. Shin,2,5 Jerome Kagan,6 Scott L. Rauch2,3

Abstract: Infants with an inhibited temperament tend to develop into children who avoid people, objects, and situations that are novel or unfamiliar, whereas uninhibited children spontaneously approach novel persons, objects, and situations. Behavioral and physiological features of these two temperamental categories are moderately stable from infancy into early adolescence and have been hypothesized to be due, in part, to variation in amygdalar responses to novelty. We found that adults who had been categorized in the second year of life as inhibited, compared with those previously categorized as uninhibited, showed greater functional MRI signal response within the amygdala to novel versus familiar faces.

1 Developmental Psychopathology Research Group, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School, 13th Street, Building 149, CNY-9, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
2 Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School, 13th Street, Building 149, CNY-9, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
3 Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center, MGH, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
4 Brigham Behavioral Neurology Group, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
5 Department of Psychology, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA.
6 Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: carl_schwartz{at}

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