Lecture: 'Sexual Assault: Brain, Experience, Behavior and Memory'
March 28, 2017
3:30 pm-5:00 pm
UMass Amherst Campus
Traumatic experiences have immediate, powerful and potentially long-lasting effects on the human brain. This presentation explains how fear and trauma can alter brain functioning during sexual assault. Participants will learn about the key brain circuitries impacted by fear and trauma, including the prefrontal cortex and the circuitries of fear and memory. Participants will come to understand brain-based experiences, behaviors, and memory characteristics that are, unfortunately, still commonly misunderstood by many who work with victims of sexual assault. This presentation provides a critical foundation for learning and applying trauma-informed responses with people who have been sexually assaulted.
James Hopper is an independent consultant and Teaching Associate in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. For over 25 years Hopper’s research, clinical and consulting work has focused on the psychological and biological effects of child abuse, sexual assault and other traumatic experiences. As a clinician Dr. Hopper works with adults who have experienced assault or were abused as children. In his forensic work he testifies on short- and long-term impacts of child abuse and sexual assault. Hopper served on the Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council and consults and teaches nationally and internationally to military and civilian investigators, prosecutors, judges, victim advocates, commanders and higher education administrators.