Iron deficiency (ID) at both birth and 9 months predicts right frontal EEG asymmetry in infancy

Rinat Armony-Sivan, Bingquan Zhu, Katy M. Clark, Blair Richards, Chai Ji, Niko Kaciroti, Jie Shao, Betsy Lozoff

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14 Scopus citations


This study considered effects of timing and duration of iron deficiency (ID) on frontal EEG asymmetry in infancy. In healthy term Chinese infants, EEG was recorded at 9 months in three experimental conditions: baseline, peek-a-boo, and stranger approach. Eighty infants provided data for all conditions. Prenatal ID was defined as low cord ferritin or high ZPP/H. Postnatal ID was defined as ≥ two abnormal iron measures at 9 months. Study groups were pre- and postnatal ID, prenatal ID only, postnatal ID only, and not ID. GLM repeated measure analysis showed a main effect for iron group. The pre- and postnatal ID group had negative asymmetry scores, reflecting right frontal EEG asymmetry (mean±SE: -.18±.07) versus prenatal ID only (.00±.04), postnatal ID only (.03±.04), and not ID (.02±.04). Thus, ID at both birth and 9 months was associated with right frontal EEG asymmetry, a neural correlate of behavioral withdrawal and negative emotions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-470
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • EEG
  • Emotion
  • Iron deficiency
  • Pre- and postnatal


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