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Neuroscience on Temperament - Dictionary of Arguments

Corr I 184
Temperament/neuroscience/Rothbart: There is now detailed knowledge of networks subserving fear, Extraversion/surgency, reactive orienting and Effortful Control in adults and adolescents (Posner and Rothbart 2007(1); Whittle, Allen, Lubman and Yucel 2006(2)). Because imaging studies allow researchers to identify tasks activating these brain networks, it is also possible to adapt the tasks to children of different ages, to study the development of temperamental systems (Posner and Raichle 1994(3)).
Corr I 185
Psychophysiological correlates of temperament have also been studied. Children who are more behaviourally inhibited exhibit elevated cortisol levels, enhanced startle responses, and larger increases in autonomic response to anxiety-provoking situations (Bornstein and Suess 2000(4)); Henderson, Marshall, Fox and Rubin 2004(5)). They also exhibit lower levels of baseline Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA), associated with less autonomic flexibility and a decreased ability in physiological self-regulation. Fear is also associated with elevations in cortisol when the child is in less optimal care, but no such association is found when the child’s care-giver is sensitive and responsive (Gunnar and Donzella 2002(6)).

1. Posner, M. I. and Rothbart, M. K. 2007. Educating the human brain. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
2. Whittle, S., Allen, N. B., Lubman, D. and Yucel, M. 2006. The neuroanatomical basis of affective temperament: towards a better understanding of psychopathology, Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews 30: 511–25
3. Posner, M. I. and Raichle, M. E. 1994. Images of mind. New York: Scientific American Library
4. Bornstein, M. H. and Suess, P. E. 2000. Physiological self-regulation and information processing in infancy: cardiac vagal tone and habituation, Child Development 71: 273–87
5. Henderson, H. A., Marshall, P. J., Fox, N. A. and Rubin, K. H. 2004. Psychophysiological and behavioural evidence for varying forms and functions of nonsocial behaviour in preschoolers, Child Development 75: 251–63
6. Gunnar, M. R. and Donzella, B. 2002. Social regulation of the cortisol levels in early human development, Psychoneuroendocrinology 27: 199–220

Mary K. Rothbart, Brad E. Sheese and Elisabeth D. Conradt, “Childhood temperament” in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018

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