The Effects of Early Life Stress on Brain and Behavior

Session Date: 
Dec 2, 2016
Session Order: 

Stress can have lasting effects on the brain and behavior. Delineating the impact of stress on the developing brain is fundamental for understanding sensitive periods of both risk and resilience. Studies of stress across species have provided essential insight into the mechanisms by which the brain changes and on the timing of these changes. This presentation will highlight how early-life stress can alter the course of brain development in parallel studies in humans and mice.  The findings show that mice reared under conditions that mimic the type and timing of early-life stress experiences of orphanage rearing show early and persistent alterations in amygdala circuitry and function.  These effects appear to persist long after the stressor is removed. These neural and behavioral findings are similar to human findings in children adopted from orphanages abroad.  Evidence for buffering against early-life stress effects in humans will be presented that may promote resilience and positive outcomes. These findings will be discussed in the context of implications for early identification of risk and resilience factors.  

File 2016_12_02_03_Casey-Web.mp482.21 MB