Original article:

Cognitive reorganization during pregnancy and the postpartum period: An evolutionary perspective

Evolutionary Psychology 10(4): 659-687 Marla V. Anderson, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, andermv@mcmaster.caM. D. Rutherford, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

Abstract

Where the non-human animal research investigating reproduction-induced cognitive reorganization has focused on neural plasticity and adaptive advantage in response to the demands associated with pregnancy and parenting, human studies have primarily concentrated on pregnancy-induced memory decline. The current review updates Henry and Rendell’s 2007 meta-analysis, and examines cognitive reorganization as the result of reproductive experience from an adaptationist perspective. Investigations of pregnancy-induced cognitive change in human females may benefit by focusing on areas, such as social cognition, where a cognitive advantage would serve a protective function, and by extending the study duration beyond pregnancy into the postpartum period.

Keywords

pregnancy, cognition, meta-analysis

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Evolutionary Psychology - An open access peer-reviewed journal - ISSN 1474-7049 © Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young; individual articles © the author(s)
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