Bridget L. Callaghan

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Revealing the engram is one of the greatest challenges in neuroscience. Many researchers focus on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the formation and maintenance of the engram, but an underutilized approach has been to investigate analogous processes associated with forgetting. Infant rodents present an ideal model for this(More)
Recent studies in rats have shown that extinction occurring early in life is resistant to relapse and may represent the erasure of fear memories. In the present study we examined the effects of early life stress on extinction in the developing rat, which could have important implications for the treatment of anxiety disorders in those who have experienced(More)
Early-life caregiving shapes the architecture and function of the developing brain. The fact that the infant-caregiver relationship is critically important for infant functioning across all altricial species, and that the anatomical circuits supporting emotional functioning are highly preserved across different species, suggests that the results of studies(More)
Early experiences critically shape the structure and function of the brain. Perturbations in typical/species-expected early experiences are known to have profound neural effects, especially in regions important for emotional responding. Parental care is one species-expected stimulus that plays a fundamental role in the development of emotion neurocircuitry.(More)
Adolescence is a period of heightened susceptibility to anxiety disorders, yet we have little experimental evidence on what factors may lead to psychopathology in adolescence. Preclinical models of extinction are commonly used to study the treatment of anxiety symptoms. Interestingly, recent research has shown that there are fundamental changes in the(More)
Early adversity increases the risk of nearly all mental health disorders. Although tractable animal models exist to probe the psychobiology of early adversity, the empirical research has focused largely on adult outcomes. In the current studies we examined how early exposure to the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) affects the maturation of fear(More)
The adverse effects of early-life stress are pervasive, with well-established mental and physical health consequences for exposed individuals. The impact of early adverse experiences is also highly persistent, with documented increases in risk for mental illness across the life span that are accompanied by stable alterations in neural function and hormonal(More)
Mental health problems are often assumed to have their roots in early-life experiences. However, memories acquired in infancy are rapidly forgotten in nearly all species (including humans). As yet, a testable mechanism on how early-life experiences have a lasting impact on mental health is lacking. In these experiments, we tested the idea that infant(More)
While early experiences are proposed to be important for the emergence of anxiety and other mental health problems, there is little empirical research examining the impact of such experiences on the development of emotional learning. Of the research that has been performed in this area, however, a complex picture has emerged in which the maturation of(More)
Research first reported nearly 50 years ago demonstrated that infant and young animals (including humans) exhibit profoundly faster rates of forgetting (i.e., infantile amnesia) than do adults. In addition to these differences in retention, more recent research has shown that inhibition of fear learning is also very different in infancy than in adulthood.(More)