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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fragmentation and unpredictability of early-life experience in mental disorders.


Maternal sensory signals in early life play a crucial role in programming the structure and function of the developing brain, promoting vulnerability or resilience to emotional and cognitive disorders. In rodent models of early-life stress, fragmentation and unpredictability of maternally derived sensory signals provoke persistent cognitive and emotional dysfunction in offspring. Similar variability and inconsistency of maternal signals during both gestation and early postnatal human life may influence development of emotional and cognitive functions, including those that underlie later depression and anxiety.

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