Focus on the brain: How individual genes, prenatal epigenetic characteristics and early interaction experiences shape resilience and risk

Friday, 24th September 2021 Keynote Nicole Strüber 02:00pm - 02:45pm Room: Humboldt

The individual genetic makeup of a person, their prenatal programmed epigenetic characteristics and early interaction experiences influence the chemistry and the neuronal networks in the brain. This in turn affects how people deal with high demands later in life, how effective they are in regulating their emotions, and whether they feel comfortable in relationships.

Numerous research results show that traumatic experiences can shape the development of the brain in such a way that the risk of developing mental illnesses is increased. Secure attachment experiences, on the other hand, can create resources that help people to deal with later traumatic or chronic stress experiences appropriately. Secure attachment experiences are therefore the basis for resilience. Later in life, psychotherapy, but also other activities, can reduce the influence of an unfavourable early imprint on behaviour through effects on the brain.

Simple and to the point:

  • Next to genetic disposition, early interaction experiences influence brain development
  • The early stage of development affects emotion regulation, relationship skills and social well-being in later life
  • Traumatic experiences can shape brain development - with an increased risk for mental illnesses
  • Secure attachment experiences are the basis for resilience in dealing with later stress experiences
  • Psychotherapy and other activities can reduce the impact e of an early imprint on the brain