So the part of the neuroplasticity talk that really caught my attention was the part about shaken baby syndrome. It got me thinking, not necessarily about neroplasticity specifically, but about child abuse how someone could lose control in that way. How could a trigger as simple as crying produce such a negative outcome, and how could parents not recognize the extent to which they are inflicting damage on their child. I just found this to be horrific and completely petrifying. While I was examining the topic of antecedents of child abuse a little closer I found that it really seems to be such a simple trigger can causes these outcomes. Beyond that I could not find anything that interesting (besides the fact that it is ridiculously scary).
However, while I was doing this research I found a paper examining how maltreatment experiences affect children’s understanding of antecedents of emotion (Perlman, 2008). This seemed like such an interesting effect that did not even consider. If the possible triggers of mistreatment could be something so small then it seems obvious that children’s expected outcomes would be skewed. This paper in specific presented children with different pairings of scenarios and emotional outcomes and asked the child to say if the outcome matched the scenario. They did this by asking the children to help a robot understand human emotions. The major finding of this study was that maltreated children saw positive negative events as equally as likely as causing sadness or anger. It is particularly interesting that maltreated children saw anger or sadness as possible outcomes for positive situations. This is particularly interesting since past research has shown that maltreated children are extremely sensitive to interpreting facial emotions, so could it be the mismatch between the event and the abuse in everyday situations that causes this mismatch.
I found this paper to be particularly interesting because in class we were very focused on the physical effects of shaken baby syndrome, and how the body copes in terms of neroplasticity. After reading this paper it seems equally important to take a step back and examine the emotional outcomes of these horrible situations. In addition, much more research that needs to be done in order to come to a better understanding of the full effects of abuse.