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The Conte Center @ UCI addresses how early-life experiences influence the brain and contribute to vulnerability to mental illnesses during adolescence. Our research focuses on probing how patterns of sensory signals originating in the mother/parent early in life influence the maturation of brain cells and circuits that govern complex behaviors. We test if fragmented and unpredictable signals created by chaotic environments – or perhaps even frequent smartphone use – leave long-lasting marks on the structure and function of the developing brain.

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Conte Center News

Unpredictable maternal signals influence intelligence in both children and immature rats – Conte Center publishes in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences! Read more

Impaired ability to experience pleasure (anhedonia) can be reversed in adults! Read more

Conte Center MD/PhD graduate student Megan Curran receives the 2017 Read more

The 2016 Neurobiology of Stress Workshop, sponsored Read more

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Seminars & Events

Mirella Dapretto, PhD, will present on November 28, 2017.

Catherine Monk, PhD, Columbia University, will present on February 2, 2018.

Nim Tottenham, PhD, Columbia University, will present on March 6, 2018.

Past Seminars & Events

Margaret M. McCarthy, PhD, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, will present Neuroinflammation, Neuroepigenetics and Male Vulnerability on October 17, 2017.

Uma Rao, PhD, University of California – Irvine, presented Distinction between Depression Phenotypes with and without Early-Life Adversity on September 13, 2017.

Charles A. Nelson, PhD Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School presented The Effects of Early Psychosocial Deprivation on Brain-Behavioral Development. – May 9, 2017.

Ted Abel, PhD, presented Molecular Mechanisms of Memory Storage: Sleep, epigenetics and neurodevelopmental disorders. – March 7, 2017.

Benjamin L. Hankin, PhD, presented Understanding development of depression: A choose your own adventure story. – February 21, 2017

Stafford Lightman, MBBChir, PhD, FRCP, presented Why Our Stress System Has Rhythm. – January 17, 2017

Olaf Sporns, PhD, presented Computational Connectomics: From Networks to Brain Dynamics. – November 1, 2016

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