The primary aim of this proposal is to investigate the normative development of the neurobiology that results in mental illness associated with emotional difficulties including high reactivity and poor regulation. Such illnesses include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, sociopathy, and personality disorders. A failure to effectively recruit a neural circuitry that includes the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex has been implicated in these mental illnesses in adults. The present research strategy, which uses structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and behavioral measures, will employ a prospective and longitudinal design that identifies biomarkers associated with these difficulties and map their development as children age into adolescence.
The second aim i s to examine the influence of early adverse caregiving environments on the development of this neurobiology. For long, it has been recognized that environmental stress is associated with a disproportionately high of risk emotional psychopathology. A large animal literature combined with an emerging human neuroimaging literature shows that environmental stress can impair mental health functioning via disruption of the amygdala and the regulatory processes that depend on proper connectivity between amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. When stress exposure occurs prior to developmental maturity, the effects can be more potent and its impact longer lasting than stress that occurs in adulthood. Therefore, the findings of this project will have a high impact on the field of mental health by identifying biomarkers associated with emotional difficulties prior to their behavioral onset. In this way, we will be better at predicting and preventing the development of mental illnesses that often emerge during the adolescent period.

Public Health Relevance

This project will examine the development of a specific neurobiology that is associated with emotional difficulties such as high reactivity and poor regulation. In addition to mapping out the typical development of this biology, this project will examine the role that adverse early caregiving has on its development. This research is important because identification of biomarkers during development before they emerge into problem behaviors in adulthood will help in the prevention of mental illnesses associated with emotional difficulties.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01MH091864-03
Application #
8282800
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-L (04))
Program Officer
Zehr, Julia L
Project Start
2010-09-01
Project End
2015-04-30
Budget Start
2012-05-01
Budget End
2013-04-30
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$266,805
Indirect Cost
$93,555
Name
University of California Los Angeles
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
092530369
City
Los Angeles
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90095
Fareri, Dominic S; Tottenham, Nim (2016) Effects of early life stress on amygdala and striatal development. Dev Cogn Neurosci 19:233-47
Green, Shulamite A; Goff, Bonnie; Gee, Dylan G et al. (2016) Discrimination of amygdala response predicts future separation anxiety in youth with early deprivation. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 57:1135-44
Gabard-Durnam, Laurel Joy; Gee, Dylan Grace; Goff, Bonnie et al. (2016) Stimulus-Elicited Connectivity Influences Resting-State Connectivity Years Later in Human Development: A Prospective Study. J Neurosci 36:4771-84
Tottenham, Nim; Galván, Adriana (2016) Stress and the adolescent brain: Amygdala-prefrontal cortex circuitry and ventral striatum as developmental targets. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 70:217-227
Callaghan, Bridget L; Tottenham, Nim (2016) The Neuro-Environmental Loop of Plasticity: A Cross-Species Analysis of Parental Effects on Emotion Circuitry Development Following Typical and Adverse Caregiving. Neuropsychopharmacology 41:163-76
Humphreys, Kathryn L; Galán, Chardeé A; Tottenham, Nim et al. (2016) Impaired Social Decision-Making Mediates the Association Between ADHD and Social Problems. J Abnorm Child Psychol 44:1023-32
Humphreys, Kathryn L; Telzer, Eva H; Flannery, Jessica et al. (2016) Risky decision making from childhood through adulthood: Contributions of learning and sensitivity to negative feedback. Emotion 16:101-9
Silvers, Jennifer A; Lumian, Daniel S; Gabard-Durnam, Laurel et al. (2016) Previous Institutionalization Is Followed by Broader Amygdala-Hippocampal-PFC Network Connectivity during Aversive Learning in Human Development. J Neurosci 36:6420-30
Johnson, Angela J; Tottenham, Nim (2015) Regulatory skill as a resilience factor for adults with a history of foster care: a pilot study. Dev Psychobiol 57:1-16
Gunnar, Megan R; Hostinar, Camelia E; Sanchez, Mar M et al. (2015) Parental buffering of fear and stress neurobiology: Reviewing parallels across rodent, monkey, and human models. Soc Neurosci 10:474-8

Showing the most recent 10 out of 38 publications