Elevated amygdala response to faces following early deprivation Academic Article uri icon

Overview

MeSH Major

  • Amygdala
  • Child, Institutionalized
  • Facial Expression
  • Personality Development

abstract

  • A functional neuroimaging study examined the long-term neural correlates of early adverse rearing conditions in humans as they relate to socio-emotional development. Previously institutionalized (PI) children and a same-aged comparison group were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing an Emotional Face Go/Nogo task. PI children showed heightened activity of the amygdala, a region that supports emotional learning and reactivity to emotional stimuli, and corresponding decreases in cortical regions that support perceptual and cognitive functions. Amygdala activity was associated with decreased eye-contact as measured by eye-tracking methods and during a live dyadic interaction. The association between early rearing environment and subsequent eye-contact was mediated by amygdala activity. These data support the hypothesis that early adversity alters human brain development in a way that can persist into childhood, and they offer insight into the socio-emotional disturbances in human behavior following early adversity.

publication date

  • March 2011

Research

keywords

  • Academic Article

Identity

Language

  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3050520

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2010.00971.x

PubMed ID

  • 21399712

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 190

end page

  • 204

volume

  • 14

number

  • 2