The Conte Center @ UCI addresses how early-life experiences influence the brain and contribute to vulnerability to mental illnesses starting 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 from caretakers or the environment leave long-lasting marks on the structure and function of the developing brain.
The Conte Center@UCI recently solicited applications for innovative research projects focusing on how early-life experiences influence the brain and may thus contribute to vulnerability to mental illness. The response from the campus community was tremendous, and we received many more outstanding proposals then we can fund. The awardees are …
Danette Shepard Chair in Neurological Sciences and Director of the Conte Center@UCI Tallie Z. Baram, named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science...Read more.
A major new review from Annabel K. Short, Ph.D. and our PI, Tallie Z. Baram, MD, Ph.D., in Nature Reviews Neurology. A critical assessment of human literature on early-life adversity and vulnerability to cognitive problems. 200 refs and new ideas...Read the review here
Conte Center@UCI Junior Researcher, Jessica Bolton, PhD, receives an NIMH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Grant. The project title is "Defining the role of Microglia in the Synaptic Rewiring of the Hypothalamus by Early Life Adversity". This is a very prestigious and competitive award. Congratulations, Jessica!
In Finland, too, unpredictable maternal signals to the infant impact cognitive development! A collaborative study between the Conte Center@UCI and the FinnBrain Institute in Turku, Finland shows remarkably similar effects of patterns of maternal signals on infant emotional regulation. Read more here.
Conte Center@UCI Junior Researcher, Jessica Bolton, PhD, receives K99 "Pathway to Independence" grant. The project title is "Defining the role of Microglia in the Synaptic Rewiring of the Hypothalamus by Early Life Adversity". This is a very prestigious and competitive award. Congratulations, Jessica!
Good News About a Breakthrough Conte Center@UCI Publication
The manuscript describing the QUIC (Questionnaire of Unpredictability in Childhood), has been accepted to Neuropsychopharmacology, the flagship journal of the ACNP. The paper enables researchers and practitioners working with children and adults to employ measures of unpredictability and fragmentation of early-life environment in clinical and study contexts. Read more
April 21, 2020 | Deanna Barch, PhD
Professor and Chair, Psychological & Brain Sciences
Washington University in St. Louis