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Maternal Dietary Nutrients and Neurotoxins
in Infant Cognitive Development

A joint research project by the Department of Psychology and the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Oklahoma State University

CONFERENCE POSTERS 2010

Nutritional research has established the important roles that iron and zinc play in the physical development of humans, particularly in infancy and childhood. Other minerals such as lead and cadmium have been identified as potent neurotoxicants. What is not so well-known is the impact of these minerals on infant cognitive development, especially when with regard to transfer of these metals through mothers' milk. In this project, we exam multiple cognitive processes and multiple nutritional factors over time to develop a model of the effects of nutrition on infant psychological development. We are testing the infants longitudinally at 3, 6, and 9 months of age in order to examine trends that would not be apparent if only one age were examined. Using multivariate statistical modeling, we will test the hypothesis that significant variation in infant cognitive development assessed at 3, 6, and 9 months will be accounted for by variation in the zinc, iron, lead and cadmium content of maternal milk and blood sampled from mothers of exclusively breastfed infants (N = 120-150) when the latter are 3 months of age. Potential confounding variables parenting stress, parenting attitudes, maternal education, and prenatal risk factors will be measured and controlled statistically.

CONFERENCE POSTERS 2011

 

CONFERENCE POSTERS 2012

 

 

 
Personnel
  • David Thomas, PhD, Department of Psychology, Oklahoma State University
  • Tay Kennedy, PhD, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Oklahoma State University
  • Barbara Stoecker, PhD, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Oklahoma State University
  • Laura Hubbs-Tait, PhD, Human Development and Family Sciences, Oklahoma State University
  • James Grice, PhD, Department of Psychology, Oklahoma State University
  • John Colombo, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Kansas
  • Nicki Aubuchon-Endsley, PhD, Department of Psychology, Oklahoma State University
  • Stephanie Grant, PhD, Department of Psychology, Oklahoma State University