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18.15 Uhr

Stress and the individual – How does anxiety contribute to stress vulnerability

Frau Prof. Dr. Carmen Sandi, École Polytéchnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Schweiz), Brain Mind Institute

Stress is a well-known regulator of brain structure and function, impacting to different degrees cognition and behavior. While moderate stress responses tend to promote these functions, excessive and chronic exposure to stressors can be highly detrimental to them, frequently leading to psychopathologies. However, not all individuals are equally affected by stress; while some individuals thrive under stress, others endure resilience following stress exposure. One of the emerging risk factors to develop dysfunctional responses following stress exposure is high anxiety trait — the stable predisposition of an individual to consider a broad range of situations as potentially dangerous. In this talk, I will present evidence showing how anxiety can mediate stress effects in a large range of functions, from learning and decision-making to social hierarchy establishment and vulnerability to develop depression. I will then discuss some of the key mechanisms, involving brain bioenergetics, that link anxiety trait with stress vulnerability.


Marsilius Arkaden


INF 130.1

69117 Heidelberg

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Universität Heidelberg, Field of Focus 4

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Sabine Falke

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