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Affective reactivity during adolescence: associations with age, puberty and testosterone

journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2019, 00:00 authored by Nandi VijayakumarNandi Vijayakumar, J H Pfeifer, J C Flournoy, L M Hernandez, M Dapretto
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Adolescence is a period of heightened social engagement that is accompanied by normative changes in neural reactivity to affective stimuli. It is also a period of concurrent endocrine and physical changes associated with puberty. A growing body of research suggests that hormonal shifts during adolescence impact brain development, but minimal research in humans has examined the relationship between intra-individual changes in puberty and brain function. The current study examines linear and nonlinear changes in affective reactivity in a longitudinal sample of 82 adolescents who underwent three fMRI sessions between the ages of 9 and 18 years. Changes in response to affective facial stimuli were related to age, pubertal stage, and testosterone levels. Using multilevel modeling, we highlight extensive nonlinear development of socio-emotional responsivity across the brain. Results include mid-pubertal peaks in amygdala and hippocampus response to fearful expressions, as well as sex differences in regions subserving social and self-evaluative processes. However, testosterone levels exhibited inverse patterns of association with neural response compared to pubertal stage in females (e.g., U-shaped relationship with the amygdala and hippocampus). Findings highlight potentially unique roles of age, pubertal stage and testosterone on socio-emotional development during adolescence, as well as sex differences in these associations.

History

Journal

Cortex

Volume

117

Pagination

336 - 350

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0010-9452

eISSN

1973-8102

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, Elsevier