Complex Developmental Trauma

How does trauma actually change the brain?


High levels of the stress hormone Cortisol are actually toxic to a developing brain, affecting a child’s memory, information processing, and ability to read social cues.  Notice the two MRI’s above. In MRI’s of abused and neglected children there is an excess of blood flow in the lower, primitive brain region that is responsible for self-preservation.  This means that crucial resource of blood flow is not available to the area of the brain (the prefrontal cortex) responsible for higher learning, cause and effect, logic, consequences, the ability to plan for the future, and discern the needs of others.

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