Early life stress and development: Preclinical science

Dora B. Guzman, Brittany Howell, Mar Sanchez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Significant advances have been made in the last decade using animal models of early life stress, which have impacted the understanding of how early traumatic experiences get under the skin and result in psychopathology and psychiatry disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse. This chapter reviews some highlights from rodent and non-human primate (NHP) animal models that provide examples into biological mechanisms that translate early adversity into psychopathology. Among the many aspects of the early environment, one has a particularly critical importance for mammalian species, including rodents, NHPs and humans: maternal care. This chapter places a special emphasis on animal models that examine the developmental impact of mother-infant relationship disruption, and the mechanisms by which maternal care regulates the development of brain circuits particularly relevant for emotional and stress regulation, which are very sensitive to early life stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPosttraumatic Stress Disorder
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Neurobiology to Treatment
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781118356142
ISBN (Print)9781118356111
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Brain circuits
  • Early life stress
  • Maternal care
  • Mother-infant relationship disruption
  • Non-human primate animal models
  • Psychiatry disorders
  • Psychopathology
  • Rodent models


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