Past Event

Neuroscience and the Study of Intergenerational Trauma: How Does the Remote Past Get under Our Skin? - Seminars in Society and Neuroscience

November 18, 2019
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
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Italian Academy, Columbia University, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue, New York

The event recording is available via YouTube. 

Event Description:

How do we "remember" things that did not happen to us? Neuroscience has made remarkable discoveries about ways in which our brains and bodies can be affected by traumatic experiences of our parents. We know that children born to survivors of cataclysmic events are themselves more susceptible to stress, and at greater risk of mental illnesses like PTSD, despite never having experienced the trauma themselves. Epigenetics, the in-utero environment, early experiences, and the parent-child relationship all play a role. These discoveries have spurred a compelling field of research into intergenerational trauma, revealing a complexity of biological and psychological interactions determining risk or resilience - but what does this new knowledge mean for survivors and their children? Scholars in the humanities and arts have long explored the lived experiences of those who feel they have inherited trauma from past generations. What can neuroscientists learn from these explorations, and what can other disciplines take from advances in neuroscience? We hear from pioneering researchers, clinicians, and scholars as they make sense of how the remote past gets under the skin to affect the present. 

Event Participants:

  • Frances Champagne, Professor of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin
  • Gabriele M. Schwab, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine
  • Rachel Yehuda, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Marianne Hirsch, William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
  • Clare McCormack, Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience, Columbia University

Event Information:

Free and open to the public, but RSVP is required via Eventbrite

This event is hosted by the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience as part of the Seminars in Society and Neuroscience series