Childhood Maltreatment May Change Brain’s Response to Threat

Researchers report people who experienced emotional abuse and neglect as children exhibited increased amygdala activity in anticipation of a mild electrical shock. The findings suggest early life stress could have an impact on the perception of distant threat.

Neural activity associated with defensive responses in humans shifts between two brain regions depending on the proximity of a threat, suggests neuroimaging data from two independent samples of adults in the Netherlands published in The Journal of Neuroscience. In one sample, the findings suggest that emotional abuse during childhood may shift the balance of activity between these regions.

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Research: How human amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis may drive distinct defensive responses

About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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