UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

A mechanistic investigation of neuro-cognitive and experiential factors associated with psychiatric vulnerability following childhood maltreatment

Gerin, Mattia Indi; (2019) A mechanistic investigation of neuro-cognitive and experiential factors associated with psychiatric vulnerability following childhood maltreatment. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

[img] Text
Gerin_10070391_thesis.pdf
Access restricted to UCL open access staff until 1 April 2020.

Download (18MB)

Abstract

Childhood maltreatment is one of the most potent predictors of future psychopathology. While progress has been made in documenting a number of cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms that might underpin this association, investigations to date have focused on a limited number of domains. The primary aim of this thesis was, therefore, to advance and extend our understanding of the neurocognitive domains that may contribute to increased psychiatric vulnerability following childhood maltreatment. In the first empirical chapter (Chapter Two), using a model-based fMRI analytic approach and a probabilistic passive-avoidance task, we showed that childhood maltreatment is associated with recalibrations in the neurocomputational processes that underlie reinforcement-based decision-making. These are expected-value representation and prediction-error signalling to reward and punishment cues. In Chapter Three we showed that altered brain responses to threat (in the form of heighted amygdala reactivity) and an increased propensity to experience stressful life events predict future internalising symptoms among individuals with a history of maltreatment. In Chapter Four we found that experiencing maltreatment during childhood is associated with difficulties in imagining specific and detailed possible future scenarios (‘Overgeneral Episodic Future Thinking’). In Chapter Five, a history of maltreatment was linked to deficits in interpersonal problem solving skills – this, in turn, contributed to the association between maltreatment and poor mental health. The findings of this thesis increase our understanding of how childhood maltreatment impacts neurobiological, cognitive and social functioning in ways that may potentiate subsequent risk of psychopathology. In the longer term, it is hoped that these findings will contribute to the development of screening tools and novel preventative clinical approaches that could foster a resilient outcome for those maltreated individuals at greatest psychiatric vulnerability.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: A mechanistic investigation of neuro-cognitive and experiential factors associated with psychiatric vulnerability following childhood maltreatment
Event: ucl
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070391
Downloads since deposit
4Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item