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Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 22;6:37081. doi: 10.1038/srep37081.

Experience-Driven Differences in Childhood Cortisol Predict Affect-Relevant Brain Function and Coping in Adolescent Monozygotic Twins.

Author information

1
Center for Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI, 53705, USA.
2
Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705, USA.
3
Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI, 53705, USA.
4
Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705, USA.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1202 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706-1969, USA.
6
Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 6001 Research Park Blvd., Madison, WI 53719, USA.

Abstract

Stress and emotion involve diverse developmental and individual differences. Partially attributed to the development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the amygdala, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the precise genetic and experiential contributions remain unknown. In previous work, childhood basal cortisol function predicted adolescent resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) and psychopathology. To parse experience-driven (non-genetic) contributions, we investigated these relations with a monozygotic (MZ) twin design. Specifically, we examined whether intrapair differences in childhood afternoon cortisol levels predicted cotwin differences in adolescent brain function and coping. As expected, intrapair differences in childhood cortisol forecast amygdala-perigenual PFC rs-FC (R2 = 0.84, FWE-corrected p = 0.01), and amygdala recovery following unpleasant images (R2 = 0.40, FWE-corrected p < 0.05), such that the cotwin with higher childhood cortisol evinced relatively lower rs-FC and poorer amygdala recovery in adolescence. Cotwin differences in amygdala recovery also predicted coping styles. These data highlight experience-dependent change in childhood and adolescence.

PMID:
27872489
PMCID:
PMC5181835
DOI:
10.1038/srep37081
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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