Potential for resting-state fMRI of the amygdala in elucidating neural mechanisms of adaptive self-regulatory strategies: A systematic review

Shannon M. Warren, Ying Hui Chou, Horst Dieter Steklis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Evolutionary-developmental theories consider the evolved mechanisms underlying adaptive behavioral strategies shaped in response to early environmental cues. Identifying neural mechanisms mediating processes of conditional adaptation in humans is an active area of research. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) captures functional connectivity theorized to represent the underlying functional architecture of the brain. This allows for investigating how underlying functional brain connections are related to early experiences during development, as well as current traits and behaviors. This review explores the potential of RS-fMRI of the amygdala (AMY) for advancing research on the neural mechanisms underlying adaptive strategies developed in early adverse environments. RS-fMRI studies of early life stress (ELS) and AMY functional connectivity within the frame of evolutionary theories are reviewed, specifically regarding the development of self-regulatory strategies. The potential of RS-fMRI for investigating the effects of ELS on developmental trajectories of self-regulation is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalBrain Connectivity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2020



  • amygdala
  • early life stress
  • fMRI
  • functional connectivity
  • resting-state
  • self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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