I found this notice and it's awesome. This means that a child abused is living psychologically a war.
Abused children's brains work like soldiers' do
The brains of children from violent homes function like those of soldiers when it comes to detecting threats.
Eamon McCrory at University College London used fMRI to scan the brains of 20 outwardly healthy children who had been maltreated and 23 "controls" from safe environments.
During the scans, the children, aged 12 on average, viewed a mixture of sad, neutral and angry faces. When they saw angry faces, the maltreated children showed extra activity in the amygdala and the anterior insula, known to be involved in threat detection and anticipation of pain. Combat soldiers show similar heightened activity (Current Biology, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.10.015).
"Our belief is that these changes could reflect neural adaption," says McCrory. "Maltreated kids and active soldiers are adapting to survive in a threatening or dangerous environment." Although this could help children survive their early years, it may predispose them to mental health problems in adulthood, such as depression or anxiety, says McCrory.
A related study, published this week by Hilary Blumberg of Yale University School of Medicine and colleagues, demonstrates that areas of the brain important for emotional processing are deficient in grey matter in adolescents who suffered from maltreatment as children (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.565).
"The studies suggest that childhood maltreatment ‘gets into the brain', and becomes biologically embedded," says Avshalom Caspi, who studies mental health at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.