DSG presents Mary Tarsha


Location: 378 Corbett Family Hall

DSG this week features a presentation by Mary Tarsha titled "Investigating respiratory sinus arrhythmia physiological attunement, parenting and moral development: a proposed future research study." (Abstract below)

"My presentation will briefly review both theory and recent analyses from the Evolutionary Moral Psychology laboratory.  Then, I will present a research design for my master’s empirical proposal.  

Converging evidence from developmental psychopathology and neurobiology demonstrate that moral behavior is neuro-bio-psycho-socially constructed—rather than hard-wired—with an emphasis on early care experience, specifically humanity’s species-typical evolved nest whose components are mostly over 30 million years old as part of the social mammalian line.  Data from several published studies of the evolved nest (Evolved Developmental Niche or EDN) and child outcomes will be presented.

Still being investigated are the mechanisms by which the evolved nest and parenting quality influence sociomoral outcomes.  One possible neurobiological mechanism of action that has been suggested is respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA; vagal tone).   RSA is a transdiagnostic biomarker for psychopathology and is a metric of parasympathetic functioning.  My proposed study involves a longitudinal investigation of mother-infant dyad interaction (N=100; prenatal to 6 years) and includes physiological assessment of RSA in both mother and child (physiological attunement), parenting quality, moral behavior including personal peaceableness, and EDN-consistent childhood experience.  Structural equation modeling with longitudinal data analysis is planned in order to investigate how EDN experience, parenting quality and physiological RSA attunement predict outcomes of moral socialization, social maladaptation and social thriving." - Mary Tarsha

DSG meets on Tuesdays 3:30-4:45 in Corbett 378. All are welcome to attend!