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Lauren B

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate


psychology (affective science/clinical, developmental, and social), neuroscience, research methods, statistics

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

An Investigation into the Neural Mechanisms Underlying Depression Following Early Life Stress

Early life stress affects 50% of children in the United States, and is associated with a number of adverse mental and physical health outcomes. Indeed, traumatic experiences in early life are significant predictors of both child- and adult-onset psychiatric conditions, and increase individuals’ risk for developing depression. Although researchers have documented associations between early life stress and anomalous brain structure and function in adolescents, there is variability in the regions and circuits that have been identified in these studies and in the direction and nature of their associations with early life stress. For example, whereas some researchers have posited that early life stress delays brain development, others have suggested that early life stress accelerates brain development. Importantly, adolescence is characterized by brain plasticity and changes to the social environment and brain reorganization in response to exposure to stressful contexts may be adaptive. In this project, we will assess how early life stress influences brain development to better understand the etiology of depression.

Coding skills

R, bash

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