Characterizing the impact of adversity, abuse, and neglect on adolescent amygdala resting-state functional connectivity

Theresa W. Cheng, Kathryn L. Mills, Oscar Miranda Dominguez, Dagmar Zeithamova, Anders Perrone, Darrick Sturgeon, Sarah W. Feldstein Ewing, Philip A. Fisher, Jennifer H. Pfeifer, Damien A. Fair, Kristen L. Mackiewicz Seghete

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3 Scopus citations


Characterizing typologies of childhood adversity may inform the development of risk profiles and corresponding interventions aimed at mitigating its lifelong consequences. A neurobiological grounding of these typologies requires systematic comparisons of neural structure and function among individuals with different exposure histories. Using seed-to-whole brain analyses, this study examined associations between childhood adversity and amygdala resting-state functional connectivity (rs-fc) in adolescents aged 11–19 years across three independent studies (N = 223; 127 adversity group) in both general and dimensional models of adversity (comparing abuse and neglect). In a general model, adversity was associated with altered amygdala rs-fc with clusters within the left anterior lateral prefrontal cortex. In a dimensional model, abuse was associated with altered amygdala rs-fc within the orbitofrontal cortex, dorsal precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/anterior mid-cingulate cortex, as well as within the dorsal attention, visual, and somatomotor networks. Neglect was associated with altered amygdala rs-fc with the hippocampus, supplementary motor cortex, temporoparietal junction, and regions within the dorsal attention network. Both general and dimensional models revealed unique regions, potentially reflecting pathways by which distinct histories of adversity may influence adolescent behavior, cognition, and psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100894
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Author TWC was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number TL1TR002371 . Author KLM was supported by the Research Council of Norway , grant number 288083 . This work was also supported by grants P50 DA035763 ( PIs Chamberlain and Fisher ), R01 MH107418 ( PI Pfeifer ), R01 MH115357 ( PI Fair ), U01 DA041148 (PI Fair), R01 MH096773 (PI Fair), K23MH105678 ( PI Mackiewicz Seghete ), R01 AA023658 ( PI Feldstein Ewing ), and K24AA026876-01 (PI Feldstein Ewing). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors


  • Adolescence
  • Amygdala
  • Childhood adversity
  • Childhood maltreatment
  • Resting-state functional connectivity


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