Learning the value of environmental signals and using that information to guide behavior is critical for survival. Stress in childhood may influence these processes, but how it does so is still unclear.
Early Life Stress
Childhood stress leaves lasting mark on genes
How does stress put some children at risk of psychiatric disorders when they grow up? To find out, researchers compared their genomes to those of kids whose childhoods were relatively tranquil.
Seth Pollak, PhD – Slide of the Week
Individuals who have experienced chronic and high levels of stress during their childhoods are at increased risk for a wide range of behavioral problems, yet the neurobiological mechanisms underlying this association are poorly understood.
Richard Davidson, PhD
Title: Amygdala and hippocampal volume is reduced in children exposed to different forms of adversity Legend: Volumetric comparisons for the left amygdala (A) and left (B) and right (C) hippocampus. For each graph, standardized residuals controlling …
Childhood stress can reconfigure biology, UW-Madison research says
Abused children tend to develop lifelong emotional and physical problems, and now UW-Madison scientists may have found a biological reason: Maltreatment appears to turn off a gene that regulates stress.
Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain
For children, stress can go a long way. A little bit provides a platform for learning, adapting and coping. But a lot of it — chronic, toxic stress like poverty, neglect and physical abuse — can have lasting negative impacts.
Hormones may usher abused girls into early adulthood
During the sort of tense situation that makes palms sweat and voices quaver, children and young adults are typically awash in cortisol, a stress hormone that sounds an alarm and prepares the body for fight-or-flight responses to danger.