Prenatal exposure to alcohol can result in the brain forming connections in abnormal ways that can cause behavioral changes.
Experiments on mice reveal that exposure to alcohol disrupts connections in the neocortex and alters the way certain genes are expressed.
Dramatic changes in the connections between their frontal, somatosensory, and visual cortex were observed in Mice born to parents exposed to alcohol.
"We found elevated levels of anxiety, disengaged behavior, and difficulty with fine motor coordination tasks. These are the kinds of things you see in children with FASD," lead study author Kelly Huffman, assistant professor of psychology at UC Riverside, said.