Cheryl Conrad is a professor of psychology and has been with ASU since 1997. Her research interests include studies on the neurobiology of chronic stress, sex differences in neuroplasticity following chronic stress, and links between stress and depression or anxiety disorders.
The ultimate goal of her research program is to investigate the mechanisms by which stress influences brain plasticity and resilience. The stress response is key to organism survival: It is highly conserved across vertebrate species because it allows organisms to respond to environmental change. However, a stress response that persists or is repeatedly activated can have substantial negative consequences on brain plasticity and resilience. A reduction of brain plasticity is thought to contribute to many psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD) and Alzheimer’s disease. Consequently, studying conditions that attenuate or accentuate brain plasticity are essential to understanding the mechanisms of adaptation and many neurological disorders.
Bio obtained from ASU Department of Psychology.