Russell Romeo headshot

This year, professor of psychology and neuroscience and behavior Russell Romeo published research on the behaviors of adult versus young male rats to stressful stimuli, and what these results tell the scientific community about "emotional reactivity" in adolescents. 

In Brain Research, Romeo published a pre-proof paper with fellow researchers — all of whom are Barnard alumnae — on stress reactive neurons in the brains of prepubertal and adult male rats. The researchers found that the hormonal changes undergone in adolescence caused a difference in how these two age groups reacted to stress, likely due to differences in how the groups activate the paraventricular nucleus. 

And in the International Journal on the Biology of Stress, Romeo published another paper with a recent Barnard alumna on stress' relationship to adolescent development and hormones. Romeo investigated the role that the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays in moderating hormonal stress changes in pre-adolescent animals. The researchers found that changing responses to the HPA continue to fluctuate until young adulthood, revealing certain "psychological vulnerabilities" present in adolescent behaviors.