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The Psychobiology of Trauma: Understanding how fear, shame, and numbing lead to functional changes in people who experience complex trauma exposure.
For the next NeuroSchool seminar, in collaboration with the INT , we are pleased to listen to Wendy D’Andrea, who works at the New School for Social Research, in NYC (USA). She will present her research on “The Psychobiology of Trauma: Understanding how fear, shame, and numbing lead to functional changes in people who experience complex trauma exposure.”
The seminar will take place on October, 22nd, 2021, at 3 PM (UTC+2) – via Zoom.
🗓 October 22, 2021, at 3 PM (UTC+2)
🕓 1-hour meeting
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Complex trauma, that is, prolonged exposure to interpersonal violence, has a documented relationship with a host of negative outcomes, spanning from physical and mental health to continued trauma exposure, suggesting that multiple functional domains may be impacted by trauma exposure. For example even the diagnosis of PTSD may be configured by over 30,000 distinct symptom-level composites, suggesting significant heterogeneity in trauma outcomes. Fear, and its biological correlate, hyperarousal, has been positioned as a central mechanism in the trauma response. For example, hyperarousal-driven fear may alter risk perception, which may, in turn, alter social behaviour. But the experience of fear and the biological shifts that accompany it only accounts for part of the variance in functional and clinical adaptations to trauma. Other contrasting affective and biological states, such as shame and numbing, may impact the experience of trauma-exposed individuals. In this talk, the presenter will outline a series of studies using autonomic physiology, neuroimaging, and lab-based behavioural tasks which a) examine the biological underpinnings of effects beyond fear including shame and numbing and b) connects these biological alterations to functional, trauma-related outcomes.
Wendy D'Andrea is an Associate Professor of Psychology (Clinical) and Director of Clinical Doctoral Training at The New School for Social Research in New York, NY. Dr. D'Andrea completed her doctorate in clinical psychology under the advisement of Dr. Nnamdi Pole at the University of Michigan, followed by postdoctoral training with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk at the Trauma Center at JRI. Her area of expertise is in the biological and functional adaptations which arise from exposure to complex trauma. She explores this topic through a diverse range of methodological approaches and in a wide array of clinically-oriented settings, for example,
within the psychotherapy context and within community-based youth interventions in high-risk contexts.