Links Between Human and Animal Models of Trauma and Psychosis: A Narrative Review

Valerie L. Tryon, Heather D. Garman, Rachel L. Loewy, Tara A. Niendam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Traumatic experiences during development are associated with an increased risk of developing psychosis. Individuals with psychosis also report a higher rate of past trauma than healthy control subjects and worse outcomes than those who do not have these experiences. It is thought that traumatic experiences negatively impact specific neurobiological processes to confer this increased risk, and that systems affected by trauma are similarly changed in individuals with psychosis. Examining animal models of psychosis and the shared neurobiological changes in response to stressors can offer valuable insight into biological mechanisms that mediate symptoms and targets for intervention. This targeted review highlights a subset of models of psychosis across humans and animals, examines the similarities with the brain's response to stress and traumatic events, and discusses how these models may interact. Suggestions for future research are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-165
Number of pages12
JournalBiological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Animal models
  • Neurobiological
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stress
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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