FIGURE 4-3 Chronicity of stressors. Top panel (A) shows a normal stress response that is turned on by the stressor and shut off when the stressor is terminated. Individual stress responses may be prolonged (B) or inadequate for the situation (C). The repetition of stressful events (D) and lack of adaptation to similar stressors (E) can lead to toxic stress and a chronic stress burden. SOURCE: Adapted with permission from McEwen (1998).

binding in several regions of the brain involved in the stress response (for example, the amygdala, hypothalamus, hippocampus, and raphe nucleus). The authors suggested that early-life stress affects the development of the serotonin system and that it might account for some of the behavioral abnormalities—including greater alcohol consumption, aggressiveness, and impaired



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement