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CIFAR convenes extraordinary minds to address science and humanity’s most important questions.

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CIFAR is a Canadian-based, global charitable organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address science and humanity’s most important questions.

By supporting long-term interdisciplinary collaboration, CIFAR provides researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, accelerates discovery and yields breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines. Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government and society. CIFAR’s community of fellows includes 19 Nobel laureates and more than 400 researchers from 22 countries. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the world's first national AI strategy.

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  • Child & Brain Development

The brain on stress: How the social environment “gets under the skin”

by CIFAR
Nov 20 / 14
The brain is the central organ of stress and adaptation. Brain circuits are remodeled by stress so as to change the balance between anxiety, mood control, memory and decision making.

Such changes are adaptive in danger but their persistence can be maladaptive. Besides early life experiences, the most potent of stressors are those arising from the social environment that can affect both brain and body. Gradients of socioeconomic status reflect the cumulative burden of coping with limited resources, toxic environments and negative life events as well as health-damaging behaviours, and resulting chronic activation of physiological systems.

A presentation by Bruce McEwen (The Rockefeller University), at CIFAR's From Cell to Society symposium Feb. 6, 2014.