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1.  Synergistic Effects of Human Milk Nutrients in the Support of Infant Recognition Memory: An Observational Study 
Nutrients  2015;7(11):9079-9095.
The aim was to explore the relation of human milk lutein; choline; and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) with recognition memory abilities of six-month-olds. Milk samples obtained three to four months postpartum were analyzed for fatty acids, lutein, and choline. At six months, participants were invited to an electrophysiology session. Recognition memory was tested with a 70–30 oddball paradigm in a high-density 128-lead event-related potential (ERP) paradigm. Complete data were available for 55 participants. Data were averaged at six groupings (Frontal Right; Frontal Central; Frontal Left; Central; Midline; and Parietal) for latency to peak, peak amplitude, and mean amplitude. Difference scores were calculated as familiar minus novel. Final regression models revealed the lutein X free choline interaction was significant for the difference in latency scores at frontal and central areas (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001; respectively). Higher choline levels with higher lutein levels were related to better recognition memory. The DHA X free choline interaction was also significant for the difference in latency scores at frontal, central, and midline areas (p < 0.01; p < 0.001; p < 0.05 respectively). Higher choline with higher DHA was related to better recognition memory. Interactions between human milk nutrients appear important in predicting infant cognition, and there may be a benefit to specific nutrient combinations.
PMCID: PMC4663580  PMID: 26540073
breastmilk; DHA; choline; lutein; recognition memory; infant cognition; synergy; electrophysiology; nutrition
2.  Elicited Imitation Performance at 20 Months Predicts Memory Abilities in School-Age Children 
Over the first decade of life there are marked improvements in mnemonic abilities. An important question from both a theoretical and applied perspective is the extent of continuity in the nature of memory over this period. The present longitudinal investigation examined declarative memory during the transition from toddlerhood to school-age using both experimental and standardized assessments. Results indicate significant associations between immediate nonverbal recall at 20 months (measured by elicited imitation) and immediate verbal and nonverbal memory (measured by standardized and laboratory-based tasks) at 6 years in typically developing children. Regression models revealed this association was specific, as measures of language abilities and temperament were not predictive of later memory performance. These findings suggest both continuity and specificity within the declarative memory system over the first years of life. Theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3891774  PMID: 24436638
3.  Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation in Infancy Reduces Heart Rate and Positively Affects Distribution of Attention 
Pediatric research  2011;70(4):406-410.
A double-blind, randomized, controlled, parallel-group prospective trial was conducted to determine whether a dose-response existed for four different levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation on the cognitive performance of infants. A total of 122 term infants were fed one of four different formulas varying in their DHA composition (0.00%, 0.32%, 0.64% and 0.96% of total fatty acids as DHA) from birth to 12 months. The three DHA-supplemented formulas also contained 0.64% of total fatty acids as arachidonic acid (ARA, 20:4n-6). Infants were tested at 4, 6, and 9 months of age on a visual habituation protocol that yielded both behavioral and psychophysiological indices of attention. Infants in all DHA+ARA-supplemented conditions had lower heart rates than those in the unsupplemented condition; there was no dose-response for this effect. The distribution of time that infants spent in different phases of attention (a cognitive index derived from the convergence of behavioral and cardiac responses) varied as a function of dosage. Infants supplemented at the two lower DHA doses spent proportionately more time engaged in active stimulus processing than infants fed the unsupplemented formula, while infants fed the highest dose were intermediate and did not differ from any other group.
PMCID: PMC3172991  PMID: 21705959

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