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The Role of Stress in Brain Development: The Gestational Environment's Long-Term Effects on the Brain.

  • Author(s): Buss, Claudia;
  • Entringer, Sonja;
  • Swanson, James M;
  • Wadhwa, Pathik D
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

During gestation, the fetal brain develops dramatically as structures and connections form, providing the foundation for all future development. The fetal environment plays a critical role in these early neural processes, for better or for worse. Scientists now know that exposure to maternal stress can sometimes have deleterious effects on the fetus, depending on the cause, timing, duration, and intensity of stress. Fortunately, postnatal interventions, such as a secure parent-infant bond and an enriched environment, can buffer the potential negative consequences.

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