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Abstract #3274

Brain structural plasticity associated with emotional processing in postpartum women: A longitudinal voxel-based morphometry study

Kaihua Zhang1,2, Mengxing Wang2, Xueyun Su3, Jilei Zhang2, Junyao Xie1, Haifeng Lu2, Zhong Chen*1, and Xiaoxia Du*2

1Department of Electronic Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China, 2Shanghai Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance and Department of Physics, School of Physics and Materials Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China, 3Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China

Pregnancy constitutes a significant period in women’s lives, after which they often experience numerous physiological and psychological changes. However, structural changes in the brains of postpartum women remain unclear. To investigate these phenomena, we recruited forty-seven postpartum women to participate in a longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging study. Our results first suggest that brain structures in postpartum women show adaptive plasticity, especially regarding alterations in empathy-related regions, including grey matter volume, white matter volume, and cortical thickness, that can facilitate effective adaption and behavioural and emotional adjustments towards nurturing infants.

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