Alexandra Ursache

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The relation of observed emotional reactivity and regulation in infancy to executive function in early childhood was examined in a prospective longitudinal sample of 1,292 children from predominantly low-income and rural communities. Children participated in a fear eliciting task at ages 7, 15, and 24 months and completed an executive function battery at(More)
Recent studies have demonstrated alterations in the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and brain abnormalities in adults with obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). While adolescents with T2DM exhibit similar brain abnormalities, less is known about whether brain impairments and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis abnormalities are already(More)
Physiological responses to threat occur through both the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. Activity in these systems can be measured through salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) and salivary cortisol, respectively. Theoretical work and empirical studies have suggested the importance of examining the coordination of(More)
Several studies have investigated associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and indicators of children's physiological and cognitive self-regulation. Although objective measures of family SES may be good proxies for families' experiences of disadvantage, less is known about subjective aspects of families' experiences. We hypothesize that subjective(More)
Socioeconomic status (SES) has been linked to functioning across a variety of neurocognitive domains including language, memory, executive functioning, and social-emotional processing. We review these findings and discuss the ways in which socioeconomic context may shape neural processes such that these skills are supported by different neurobiological(More)
Emotionally arousing stimuli have been largely unsuccessful in eliciting cortisol responses in young children. Whether or not emotion challenge will elicit a cortisol response, however, may in part be determined by the extent to which the tasks elicit behavioral reactivity and regulation. We examined relations of behavioral reactivity and regulation to(More)
Prior research with adults suggests mixed evidence for the relations of state and trait anxiety to prefrontal executive functions (EF). Trait anxiety is hypothesised to impair the efficiency of prefrontal areas and goal-directed attention and has been largely associated with poorer performance on executive functioning tasks. Fewer studies have investigated(More)
BACKGROUND A growing body of evidence links socioeconomic status (SES) to children's brain structure. Few studies, however, have specifically investigated relations of SES to white matter structure. Further, although several studies have demonstrated that family SES is related to development of brain areas that support executive functions (EF), less is(More)
This study examines preadolescents' reports of risk-taking as predicted by two different, but related inhibitory control systems involving sensitivity to reward and loss on the one hand, and higher order processing in the context of cognitive conflict, known as executive functioning (EF), on the other. Importantly, this study examines these processes with a(More)
The relation of self-regulation measured prior to school entry to developing math and reading ability in prekindergarten through the second grade was examined in a prospective longitudinal sample of 1,292 children and families in predominantly rural and low-income communities in 2 regions of high poverty in the United States. Direct assessments of executive(More)