Changes in attentional processing and affective reactivity in pregnancy and postpartum
Jackie K Gollan, Laina Rosebrock, Denada Hoxha, Katherine L Wisner
Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
Abstract: The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the research in attentional processing and affective reactivity in pregnancy and postpartum to inform future research. Numerous changes occur in attentional processing and affective reactivity across the childbearing period. This review focuses on the definition and methods of measuring attentional processing and affective reactivity. We discuss research studies that have examined the changes in these two processes during the perinatal phases of pregnancy and postpartum, with and without depression and anxiety. We evaluate the importance of using multiple levels of measurement, including physiological and neuroimaging techniques, to study these processes via implicit and explicit tasks. Research that has identified regions of brain activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging as well as other physiological assessments is integrated into the discussion. The importance of using sophisticated methodological techniques in future studies, such as multiple mediation models, for the purpose of elucidating mechanisms of change during these processes in pregnancy and postpartum is emphasized. We conclude with a discussion of the effect of these processes on maternal psychological functioning and infant outcomes. These processes support a strategy for individualizing treatment for pregnant and postpartum women suffering from depression and anxiety.
Keywords: attentional processing, emotion, affective reactivity, depression, pregnancy, postpartum
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]