Adolescent females exposed to child maltreatment exhibit atypical EEG coherence and psychiatric impairment: Linking early adversity, the brain, and psychopathology

McMaster University, Hamilton, ONT L8S 4K1, Canada.
Development and Psychopathology (Impact Factor: 4.89). 05/2010; 22(2):419-32. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579410000155
Source: PubMed


Although the relation between child maltreatment and psychiatric impairment is well documented and preliminary evidence has linked child maltreatment with aberrant cortical connectivity of the left hemisphere, no investigations have attempted to examine these relations in the same study. Here, we examined the links among early adversity, brain connectivity, and functional outcomes. We collected resting regional EEG intra- and interhemispheric alpha-band (7.5-12.5 Hz) coherence and measures of general psychiatric impairment from a cohort of 38 adolescent females exposed to child maltreatment (M age = 14.47) and 24 adolescent females not exposed to child maltreatment (M age = 14.00). Maltreated youths exhibited more left hemisphere EEG coherence than the control youths, suggesting a suboptimal organization of cortical networks. Maltreated participants also showed reduced frontal (anterior) interhemispheric coherence. These differences in brain circuitry remained statistically significant even after controlling for group differences in pubertal status and socioeconomic status. Measures of functional brain connectivity were associated with several subtypes of abuse and neglect. It was important that atypical left hemisphere EEG coherence mediated the effects of child maltreatment on levels of psychiatric impairment. The findings are discussed in the context of models linking early adversity to brain function and psychopathology.

1 Follower
27 Reads
  • Source
    • "First, an intriguing issue is the consistency of gamma asymmetry differences relating to differences in social behavior. Prior work on asymmetry in ASD and other populations has focused on the alpha band asymmetry (cf., Davidson et al. 1990; Kylliäinen et al. 2012; Miskovic et al. 2010). To our knowledge, this study is the first to examine gamma band asymmetry, and, thus, the results here would benefit from replication before being extensively interpreted. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined whether the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS: Social skills for teenagers with developmental and autism spectrum disorders: The PEERS treatment manual, Routledge, New York, 2010a) affected neural function, via EEG asymmetry, in a randomized controlled trial of adolescents with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and a group of typically developing adolescents. Adolescents with ASD in PEERS shifted from right-hemisphere gamma-band EEG asymmetry before PEERS to left-hemisphere EEG asymmetry after PEERS, versus a waitlist ASD group. Left-hemisphere EEG asymmetry was associated with more social contacts and knowledge, and fewer symptoms of autism. Adolescents with ASD in PEERS no longer differed from typically developing adolescents in left-dominant EEG asymmetry at post-test. These findings are discussed via the Modifier Model of Autism (Mundy et al. in Res Pract Persons Severe Disabl 32(2):124, 2007), with emphasis on remediating isolation/withdrawal in ASD.
    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 06/2013; 45(2). DOI:10.1007/s10803-013-1883-y · 3.06 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Existe firme evidencia que muestra que las personas que han sido expuestas a alguna adversidad temprana que lo genera, como el maltrato o la separación materna, tienen mayor riesgo de desarrollar desórdenes de ansiedad, de personalidad , depresión mayor, esquizofrenia, y además se puede alterar el desarrollo del cerebro perturbando su estructura y funcionamiento, entre muchos otros problemas (p. ej., Agid et ál., 1999; Ciccetti & Carlson, 1989; Curtis & Cicchetti, 2007; De Bellis & Thomas, 2003; Heim & Nemeroff, 2001; Miskovic et ál., 2010). Como es de esperarse, otros organismos con sistema nervioso complejo también sufren una variedad de consecuencias adversas en esta situación (p. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article gives an overview of presuppositions and explanations posed by behaviorist psychology (particularly its radical branch), cognitive-nativist sciences (i.e. psycholinguistics and a branch of cognitive psychology) and other disciplines regarding important psychological events such as anxiety, stress, fear, mood states and language. In relation to the discussion of environment versus genetics, contributions from behavioral neurobiology and neuropsychology are added, showing evidence of traits that can be multigenerationally inherited in a non-genetic way, which have an impact thought the life of organisms and on their way of interacting with the environment; ways in which behavior can be altered by recently unsuspected environmental agents or events, and the overlooked role of prenatal experiences in the explanation of behavior. The evidence calls into question presuppositions made by the academic disciplines listed above, and suggests alternative behavior reinterpretations and explanations.
    Avances en Psicologia Latinoamericana 04/2013; 31(1):223-240. · 0.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Chronic child maltreatment may cause development of the body's major stress systems in ways particular to high-stress living, different from the stress systems of less stressed, typically-developing children. This development under stress would be reflected neurochemically in altered levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and catecholamines, and biologically in smaller interhemispheric connections and smaller brain size overall (deBellis et al. 1999; For related work see Miskovic et al. 2010). DeBellis et al. (1999, p. 1272) suggested that " PTSD in maltreated children may be regarded as an environmentally induced complex developmental disorder. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Childhood maltreatment and adolescent substance abuse are important health issues that have been linked by research and theory for at least 50years. Considering the intricacies of child maltreatment research, this paper aims to answer the question: which models show the most promise to explain why child maltreatment is a risk indicator for adolescent substance abuse? Models of the mechanisms of this association are reviewed and evaluated in the context of the many complexities of defining and measuring child maltreatment. We offer three recommendations for future research in this area: 1) measures of the severity of child maltreatment should be used where possible; 2) positive childhood relationships should be assessed as a potentially important protective factor; 3) more research should involve system-involved children and adolescents. KeywordsChild maltreatment–Substance abuse–Adolescent–Review
    International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction 10/2011; 9(5):525-542. DOI:10.1007/s11469-011-9322-9 · 0.99 Impact Factor
Show more


27 Reads
Available from