Child Maltreatment and Emotion Regulation Networks
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Child maltreatment has been strongly associated with a variety of later life psychopathology. Investigations in to mechanisms of this association have explored neurodevelopmental disruptions in brain networks associated with emotion regulation. Using fMRI, we investigated differences in neural function in a sample of 58 adolescents with and without exposure to childhood maltreatment during a task in which participants viewed negative emotional stimuli both passively and while attempting to modulate emotional response using cognitive reappraisal. As has been shown elsewhere in adults, effortful regulation engaged a network of brain regions including Inferior Frontal Gyrus (IFG) and superior temporal gyrus in downregulating the amygdala. Ventro-Medial PFC (vmPFC) was not functionally coupled with amygdala or IFG activation during effortful regulation, suggesting that adolescents instead use prefrontal structures to support down-regulation of the amygdala through medial and lateral temporal cortex. Maltreatment was associated with greater functional connectivity between IFG and these temporal areas.
- Psychology