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J Korean Soc Matern Child Health > Volume 23(2); 2019 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Maternal and Child Health 2019;23(2):109-114.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21896/jksmch.2019.23.2.109    Published online April 30, 2019.
Effect of Birth Experience on Cognitive Function
Hyun-Jun Kim1, Joonsup Song2, Hyun-Kyung Park3, Nam Mi Kang4, Jin-Ju Jung5, Min-Ji Kim5, Soon-Cheol Chung5, Mi-Hyun Choi5
1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, School of Medicine, Konkuk University
2Department of Pediatrics, Konkuk University Chungju Hospital
3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul Clinical Laboratories
4Department of Nursing, Konkuk University
5Department of Biomedical Engineering, Research Institute of Biomedical Engineering, College of Science & Technology, Konkuk University
출산 경험이 인지기능에 미치는 영향
김현준1, 송준섭2, 박현경3, 강남미4, 정진주5, 김민지5, 정순철5, 최미현5
1건국대학교 의학전문대학원 산부인과학교실
2건국대학교 충주병원 소아청소년과
4건국대학교 의료생명대학 간호학과
5건국대학교 과학기술대학 ICT융합공학부 의학공학전공
Correspondence:  Hyun-Jun Kim, Tel: 043-840-8310, Fax: 043-840-8962, 
Email: icarus@kku.ac.kr
Received: 28 February 2019   • Revised: 3 April 2019   • Accepted: 5 April 2019
This study aimed to investigate whether birth experience affects short-term memory (1,2-back task) by examining parturient and non-parturient women.
A total of 31 women were enrolled in this study, of which 16 were parturient women who had given birth within the past 2 years (mean age: 33.9±2.2 years) and 15 were non-parturient (mean age: 31.4±2.1 years). The mean age did not significantly differ between the two groups, so the effects of age were eliminated. To match the level of education between the two groups, college graduation was an inclusion criterion. A 1,2-back task consisting of six alphabets from A-F was created using the SuperLab software. For each task, there were 100 stimuli (alphabets) and 30 answers. The participants practiced the task prior to the main experiment to ensure that they adequately understood the procedure.
The correct answer rates in the 1-back and 2-back tasks were 93.56±22.23% and 76.89±21.98%, respectively, in the non-parturient group and 95±10.04% and 80.83±13.67%, respectively, in the parturient group. The reaction time in the 1-back and 2-back tasks were 650.57±173.77 ms and 736.77±138.35 ms, respectively, in the non-parturient group and 621.91±81.90 ms and 737.5±195.99 ms, respectively, in the parturient group. There were no significant differences in the answer rates between the two groups, suggesting that parturition did not have a significant impact on the 1,2-back task performance.
Birth experience does not significantly impair cognitive function. However, the findings of this pilot study are not highly reliable because of the limitations of the small sample size, degree of load, various types of working memory, and impact of hormones.
Key Words: pregnancy, birth experience, cognitive function
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