NASET News Alert

Brain Circuits for Successful Emotional Development Established During Infancy

October 17, 2018

Researchers in the UNC Early Brain Development Study tracking the development of the brain's emotion circuitry in infancy found that adult-like functional brain connections for emotional regulation emerge during the first year of life. And the growth of these brain circuits during the second year of life predicted the IQ and emotional control of the children at 4 years old, suggesting new avenues for early detection and intervention for children who are at risk for emotional problems. These results were published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. "If confirmed in future studies, these findings suggest that it may be possible to identify children at risk for behavioral difficulties associated with psychiatric disorders very early in life, allowing early intervention to reduce risk and improve long term behavioral outcomes," said John Gilmore, MD, co-senior author of the study, the Thad and Alice Eure Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair for Research & Scientific Affairs in UNC's Department of Psychiatry, and director of the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. Read More

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