Knickmeyer.Rebecca New smallIn a new study published in Nature Communications, Pediatrics and Human Development researcher Rebecca Knickmeyer, PhD and collaborators at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill explore the relationship between fear response and the infant gut microbiome. Dr. Knickmeyer's research suggests variation in the microorganisms inhabiting the infant digestive system may be related to differences in how babies react to perceived danger.

Chilhood experience strongly predicts future mental health. While the fear response is a normal part of the childhood experience, underregulated it may lead to increased risk of anxiety and depression, while overregulated it could lead to antisocial personality traits.

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