Saturday, December 27, 2014.  I would be willing to bet everything I own, which is nothing much – including very generously my apartment’s special collection of bed bugs both living and dead – along with everything I know, don’t know, could know, might come to know – that I am significantly correct in my developing instinctual theory that the human brain region collectively known as the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) is not only the seat of change but is also the bull’s eye of Trauma Altered Development (TAD) in the first place, the lifelong consequence of those changes AND is of its healing.

I am not a professional person in any way.  I am not externally qualified to make statements of fact about anything “scientific.”  However, due to the seriousness and the consequences of the extreme, severe, bizarre, comprehensive and long-term abusive trauma I lived through and suffered so greatly from for the entire first 18 years of my life from BEFORE the first breath I ever took in this world I am perfectly suited to making guesses about “what all of THIS might mean.”

If the ACC is designed to spearhead (attachment-related) growth — its own and the developmental trajectory of the body-self it is a part of — in response to environment (safe and secure or its opposite) then why would that special plasticity cease to exist at ANY TIME during a lifetime?


I am loosely being propelled forward into a course of self-study involving this topic:

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 May;935:107-17.

The anterior cingulate cortex. The evolution of an interface between emotion and cognition.

Allman JMHakeem AErwin JMNimchinsky EHof P.


We propose that the anterior cingulate cortex is a specialization of neocortex rather than a more primitive stage of cortical evolution. Functions central to intelligent behavior, that is, emotional self-control, focused problem solving, error recognition, and adaptive response to changing conditions, are juxtaposed with the emotions in this structure. Evidence of an important role for the anterior cingulate cortex in these functions has accumulated through single-neuron recording, electrical stimulation, EEG, PET, fMRI, and lesion studies. The anterior cingulate cortex contains a class of spindle-shaped neurons that are found only in humans and the great apes, and thus are a recent evolutionary specialization probably related to these functions. The spindle cells appear to be widely connected with diverse parts of the brain and may have a role in the coordination that would be essential in developing the capacity to focus on difficult problems. Furthermore, they emerge postnatally and their survival may be enhanced or reduced by environmental conditions of enrichment or stress, thus potentially influencing adult competence or dysfunction in emotional self-control and problem-solving capacity.”


My dear friend located a full copy of the following article online free:

Anterior Cingulate Cortex:  Unique Role in Cognition and Emotion

by Francis L. Stevens, Ph.D., Robin A. Hurley, M.D., Katherine H. Taber, Ph.D.

The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) lies in a unique position in the brain, with connections to both the “emotional” limbic system and the “cognitive” prefrontal cortex. Thus, the ACC likely has an important role in integration of neuronal circuitry for affect regulation and can be identified as a distinctive region in understanding psychopathology. Affect-regulation, the ability to control and manage uncomfortable emotions, is a primary goal for mental health clinicians in treating psychopathology. Avoidance of painful emotions is often the motivating force in negative behaviors such as substance abuse, binge eating, and suicide. These actions are taken as part of maladaptive approaches to control, avoid, or regulate painful emotions. Clinicians often treat patients by helping them to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms in regulating their emotions. Understanding the processes by which ACC contributes to regulation of emotions may assist clinicians in their therapeutic work.”


There is undoubtedly a clear, undeniable connection between the ACC brain region, TAD and the profoundly disturbing findings from the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) studies.  If I choose to do so I will need to search online in an intense study to find who “out there” has traded guesswork for fact along these lines of my thinking.

Using the online search terms — cdc ace anterior cingulate cortex – I can see instantaneously that there is a beginning place for me to begin my inquiry.  (This blog seems to appear at the top of the appearing link list….)  I could say DARN!  For the simple reason that I do not REALLY want to be among those on earth who know what I instinctively know.

Yet the good side of this in my thoughtful meanderings of speculation this morning is that if the ACC is the bull’s eye of trauma-related changes in this brain region, once this connection has been clearly shown it should also be true and demonstrable that this region is also a powerful target for changes that can be made in the opposite direction!


Even at a cursory beginning glance — interesting research!  This is just one angle of entering the world of studies about development of the ACC and its very busy and fascinating engineering and operation!!

The social regulation of threat-related attentional disengagement in highly anxious individuals.

Maresh EL, Beckes L, Coan JA.

Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Aug 30;7:515. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00515. eCollection 2013. PMID: 24009576  Free PMC Article Related citations

Effect of relationship experience on trust recovery following a breach.

Schilke O, Reimann M, Cook KS.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Sep 17;110(38):15236-41. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1314857110. Epub 2013 Sep 3. PMID: 24003151  Free PMC Article Related citations

An information theory account of cognitive control.

Fan J.

Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Sep 2;8:680. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00680. eCollection 2014. PMID: 25228875  Free PMC Article Related citations

From imitation to meaning: circuit plasticity and the acquisition of a conventionalized semantics.

García RR, Zamorano F, Aboitiz F.

Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Aug 8;8:605. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00605. eCollection 2014. Review. PMID: 25152726  Free PMC Article Related citations

Common medial frontal mechanisms of adaptive control in humans and rodents.

Narayanan NS, Cavanagh JF, Frank MJ, Laubach M.

Nat Neurosci. 2013 Dec;16(12):1888-95. doi: 10.1038/nn.3549. Epub 2013 Oct 20. PMID: 24141310 Free PMC Article Related citations

The motor system contributes to comprehension of abstract language.

Guan CQ, Meng W, Yao R, Glenberg AM.

PLoS One. 2013 Sep 26;8(9):e75183. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075183. eCollection 2013. PMID: 24086463  Free PMC Article Related citations

Asymmetric correlation between experienced parental attachment and event-related potentials evoked in response to parental faces.

Dai J, Zhai H, Zhou A, Gong Y, Luo L.

PLoS One. 2013 Jul 2;8(7):e68795. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068795. Print 2013. PMID: 23844240 Free PMC Article Related citations

Parcellation of the cingulate cortex at rest and during tasks: a meta-analytic clustering and experimental study.

Torta DM, Costa T, Duca S, Fox PT, Cauda F.

Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Jun 14;7:275. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00275. eCollection 2013. PMID: 23785324  Free PMC Article Related citations

The empathic brain and its dysfunction in psychiatric populations: implications for intervention across different clinical conditions.

Decety J, Moriguchi Y.

Biopsychosoc Med. 2007 Nov 16;1:22. PMID: 18021398  Free PMC Article Related citation

Social outcomes in childhood brain disorder: a heuristic integration of social neuroscience and developmental psychology.

Yeates KO, Bigler ED, Dennis M, Gerhardt CA, Rubin KH, Stancin T, Taylor HG, Vannatta K.

Psychol Bull. 2007 May;133(3):535-56. Review. PMID: 17469991  Free PMC Article Related citations

The experience of emotion.

Barrett LF, Mesquita B, Ochsner KN, Gross JJ.

Annu Rev Psychol. 2007;58:373-403. PMID: 17002554  Free PMC Article Related citations

Beyond affect: a role for genetic variation of the serotonin transporter in neural activation during a cognitive attention task.

Canli T, Omura K, Haas BW, Fallgatter A, Constable RT, Lesch KP.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Aug 23;102(34):12224-9. Epub 2005 Aug 10. PMID: 16093315  Free PMC Article Related citations

Neurobiologic processes in drug reward and addiction.

Adinoff B.

Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2004 Nov-Dec;12(6):305-20. Review. PMID:15764467  Free PMC Article Related citations

The neural bases of cooperation and competition: an fMRI investigation.

Decety J, Jackson PL, Sommerville JA, Chaminade T, Meltzoff AN.

Neuroimage. 2004 Oct;23(2):744-51. PMID: 15488424 Free PMC Article Related citations

The human cortex responds to an interoceptive challenge.

Critchley HD.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Apr 27;101(17):6333-4. Epub 2004 Apr 19.  PMID: 15096592  Free PMC Article Related citations

Trace but not delay fear conditioning requires attention and the anterior cingulate cortex.

Han CJ, O’Tuathaigh CM, van Trigt L, Quinn JJ, Fanselow MS, Mongeau R, Koch C, Anderson DJ.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Oct 28;100(22):13087-92. Epub 2003 Oct 10.

PMID: 14555761 Free PMC Article Related citations

Development and neurophysiology of mentalizing.

Frith U, Frith CD.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2003 Mar 29;358(1431):459-73.

PMID: 12689373 Free PMC Article Related citations

Childhood maltreatment is associated with a sex-dependent functional reorganization of a brain inhibitory control network.

Elton A, Tripathi SP, Mletzko T, Young J, Cisler JM, James GA, Kilts CD.

Hum Brain Mapp. 2014 Apr;35(4):1654-67. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22280. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

PMID: 23616424 Related citations

Interaction of neuropeptide Y genotype and childhood emotional maltreatment on brain activity during emotional processing.

Opmeer EM, Kortekaas R, van Tol MJ, van der Wee NJ, Woudstra S, van Buchem MA, Penninx BW, Veltman DJ, Aleman A.

Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2014 May;9(5):601-9. doi: 10.1093/scan/nst025. Epub 2013 Mar 11. PMID: 23482625 Related citations

Overlapping and segregated resting-state functional connectivity in patients with major depressive disorder with and without childhood neglect.

Wang L, Dai Z, Peng H, Tan L, Ding Y, He Z, Zhang Y, Xia M, Li Z, Li W, Cai Y, Lu S, Liao M, Zhang L, Wu W, He Y, Li L.

Hum Brain Mapp. 2014 Apr;35(4):1154-66. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22241. Epub 2013 Feb 13. PMID: 23408420  Related citations

Resting-state functional connectivity in adults with childhood emotional maltreatment.

van der Werff SJ, Pannekoek JN, Veer IM, van Tol MJ, Aleman A, Veltman DJ, Zitman FG, Rombouts SA, Elzinga BM, van der Wee NJ.

Psychol Med. 2013 Sep;43(9):1825-36. doi: 10.1017/S0033291712002942. Epub 2012 Dec 20. PMID: 23254143  Related citations

Improving Executive Function and its Neurobiological Mechanisms through a Mindfulness-Based Intervention: Advances within the Field of Developmental Neuroscience.

Tang YY, Yang L, Leve LD, Harold GT.

Child Dev Perspect. 2012 Dec;6(4):361-366.

PMID: 25419230 Free PMC Article Related citations

Childhood and adult trauma both correlate with dorsal anterior cingulate activation to threat in combat veterans.

Herringa RJ, Phillips ML, Fournier JC, Kronhaus DM, Germain A.

Psychol Med. 2013 Jul;43(7):1533-42. doi: 10.1017/S0033291712002310. Epub 2012 Oct 18.

PMID: 23171514  Free PMC Article Related citations

[Review of the effects of mindfulness meditation on mental and physical health and its mechanisms of action].

Ngô TL.

Sante Ment Que. 2013 Autumn;38(2):19-34. Review. French.

PMID:24719001 Related citations

Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of morphometric neuroimaging in meditation practitioners.

Fox KC, Nijeboer S, Dixon ML, Floman JL, Ellamil M, Rumak SP, Sedlmeier P, Christoff K.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014 Jun;43:48-73. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.03.016. Epub 2014 Apr 3.

PMID: 24705269 Related citations

Shifting brain asymmetry: the link between meditation and structural lateralization.

Kurth F, Mackenzie-Graham A, Toga AW, Luders E.

Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2014 Mar 17. [Epub ahead of print]

PMID: 24643652 Related citations

Disentangling the neural mechanisms involved in Hinduism- and Buddhism-related meditations.

Tomasino B, Chiesa A, Fabbro F.

Brain Cogn. 2014 Oct;90:32-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2014.03.013. Epub 2014 Jun 27.

PMID: 24975229 Related citations

Tai Chi Chuan optimizes the functional organization of the intrinsic human brain architecture in older adults.

Wei GX, Dong HM, Yang Z, Luo J, Zuo XN.

Front Aging Neurosci. 2014 Apr 17;6:74. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00074. eCollection 2014.

PMID: 24860494 Free PMC Article Related citations

Just a tiny beginning!!!!!!


While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional


Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.


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  1. Decision salience signals in posterior cingulate cortex
    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)
    Full Text Available Despite its phylogenetic antiquity and clinical importance, the posterior cingulate cortex (CGp remains an enigmatic nexus of attention, memory, motivation, and decision making. Here we show that CGp neurons track decision salience�the degree to which an option differs from a standard�but not the subjective value of a decision. To do this, we recorded the spiking activity of CGp neurons in monkeys choosing between options varying in reward-related risk, delay to reward, and social outcomes, each of which varied in level of decision salience. Firing rates were higher when monkeys chose the risky option, consistent with their risk-seeking preferences, but were also higher when monkeys chose the delayed and social options, contradicting their preferences. Thus, across decision contexts, neuronal activity was uncorrelated with how much monkeys valued a given option, as inferred from choice. Instead, neuronal activity signaled the deviation of the chosen option from the standard, independently of how it differed. The observed decision salience signals suggest a role for CGp in the flexible allocation of neural resources to motivationally significant information, akin to the role of attention in selective processing of sensory inputs.

    The anterior cingulate gyrus and the mechanism of self-regulation.
    Science.gov (United States)
    The midfrontal cortex, and particularly the anterior cingulate gyrus, appears active in many studies of functional imaging. Various models have competed to explain the functions of the anterior cingulate in relation to its patterns of activation. We believe that the concept of self-regulation is valuable in considering the role of the cingulate. The sensitivity of the cingulate to both reward and pain, and evidence for cingulate coupling to cognitive and emotional areas during task performance, support this identification. Self-regulation is a very broad concept that does not lend itself very well to specific models or tests, but it does provide a framework for examining development. We trace the role of the midfrontal cortex in evolution and infant development. Both genes and environment influence self-regulation. The presence of both genetic and environmental effects raises the issue of their interaction, which we discuss in relation to the dopamine 4 receptor gene and parenting methods. The role of the midfrontal cortex in self-regulation allows us to consider both brain networks common to all people and network efficiency underlying individual differences in behavior. PMID:18189012
    Posner, Michael I; Rothbart, Mary K; Sheese, Brad E; Tang, Yiyuan

    both from


  2. Anterior insular cortex is necessary for empathetic pain perception
    Science.gov (United States)

    Empathy refers to the ability to perceive and share another person’s affective state. Much neuroimaging evidence suggests that observing others’ suffering and pain elicits activations of the anteriorinsular and the anterior cingulate cortices associated with subjective empathetic responses in the observer. However, these observations do not provide causal evidence for the respective roles ofanterior insular and anterior cingulate cortices in empathetic pain. Therefore, whether these regions are “necessary” for empathetic pain remains unknown. Herein, we examined the perception of others’ pain in patients with anterior insular cortex or anterior cingulate cortex lesions whose locations matched with the anterior insular cortex or anterior cingulate cortex clusters identified by a meta-analysis on neuroimaging studies of empathetic pain perception. Patients with focal anterior insular cortex lesions displayed decreased discrimination accuracy and prolonged reaction time when processing others’ pain explicitly and lacked a typical interference effect of empathetic pain on the performance of a pain-irrelevant task. In contrast, these deficits were not observed in patients withanterior cingulate cortex lesions. These findings reveal that only discrete anterior insular cortex lesions, but not anterior cingulate cortex lesions, result in deficits in explicit and implicit pain perception, supporting a critical role of anterior insular cortex in empathetic pain processing. Our findings have implications for a wide range of neuropsychiatric illnesses characterized by prominent deficits in higher-level social functioning. PMID:22961548

    Gu, Xiaosi; Gao, Zhixian; Wang, Xingchao; Liu, Xun; Knight, Robert T.; Hof, Patrick R.

    Full article online here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3437027/

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