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Lois Bloom Lecture

The Child Study Center's Lois Bloom Lecture is made possible by a gift from Dr. Lois Masket Bloom, '56 Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Alumna of Penn State, and Edward Lee Thorndike Professor Emeritus, Teachers College, Columbia University. This lectureship fund supports lectures by outstanding experts in the field of child studies with a special emphasis on early child development.

Easy to Remember, Difficult to Forget: The Development of Fear Regulation

"Easy to Remember, Difficult to Forget: The Development of Fear Regulation"

Abstract: Fear extinction learning is a highly adaptive process that involves the integrity of frontolimbic circuitry. Its disruption has been associated with emotional dysregulation in stress and anxiety disorders. This presentation will examine how age, genetics and experiences shape our capacity to regulate fear in cross-species studies. Evidence for adolescent-specific diminished fear extinction learning will be presented in the context of immature frontolimbic circuitry. Evidence for less neural plasticity in fear regulation as a function of early life stress and genotype also will be presented. Finally, this work will be discussed in the context of exposure-based behavioral therapies for the treatment of anxiety and stress disorders, speculating on how such therapies may be optimized for the individual based on the patient’s age, genetic profile and personal history to move from standard treatment of care to personalized and precision medicine.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The Child Study Center's 2014 Lois Bloom Lecture
4:15 p.m., The Nittany Lion Inn, Boardroom

Are There Sensitive Periods for the Effects of Early Experience on Cognitive and Social Competence

"Are There Sensitive Periods for the Effects of Early Experience on Cognitive and Social Competence? Lessons from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project"

Abstract: Developmental psychologists and educators assume that early experiences shape the brain and neural circuitry for emerging cognitive and social behaviors over the first years of life. Most of the evidence for these assumptions is based on rodent and non-human primate animal research. Far less has been published on the effects of early experience that is not correlational in nature. The Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) is the first randomized trial of a family intervention for children who experienced significant psychosocial neglect early in their lives. A group of infants living in institutions in Romania were recruited and randomized to be taken out of the institution and placed into family/foster care homes or to remain in the institution. Follow up of these children occurred at 42 and 54 months of age and at 8 years of age. Multiple domains, including cognitive, socio-emotional, psychiatric, and brain imaging were assessed at each age. Three questions are posed in this study and this talk: first, are there lasting effects of early psychosocial deprivation as children develop over the school years. Second, is intervention successful in ameliorating deficits as a result of institutionalization. And third, are there sensitive periods in delivering the intervention that explain both success and failure to improve cognitive and socio-emotional behavior.

Thursday, January 16, 2014
The Child Study Center's 2013 Lois Bloom Lecture
4:15 p.m., Nittany Lion Inn, Ballroom A&B

Early Learning and the Emotional Brain

Seth Pollak, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Psychology
University of Wisconsin at Madison

September 13, 2012
The Child Study Center's 2012 Lois Bloom Lecture

Early Life Stress and Development

Megan Gunnar, Ph.D.

Professor of Child Development and Principal Investigator for The International Adoption Project
Co-Principal Investigator of The Early Experience, Stress Neurobiology, and Prevention Science Network
University of Minnesota

November 10, 2011

The Child Study Center's 2011 Lois Bloom Lecture

The Biology of Misfortune

W. Thomas Boyce, M.D.

Professor, Sunny Hill Health Centre/BC Leadership Chair in Child Development
College for Interdisciplinary Studies and Faculty of Medicine
University of British Columbia

September 23, 2010

The Child Study Center's 2010 Lois Bloom Lecture