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VI. Sensitive periods

VI. Sensitive periods
VI. Sensitive periods
This chapter reviews sensitive periods in human brain development based on the literature on children raised in institutions. Sensitive experiences occur when experiences are uniquely influential for the development of neural circuitry. Because in humans, we make inferences about sensitive periods from evaluations of complex behaviors, we underestimate the occurrence of sensitive periods at the
level of neural circuitry. Although we are most interested in complex behaviors, such as IQ or attachment or externalizing problems, many different sensitive periods at the level of circuits probably underlie these complex behaviors. Results from a number of studies suggest that across most, but not all, domains of development, institutional rearing limited to the first 4–6 months of life is associated with no significant increase risk for long-term adverse effects relative to noninstitutionalized children. Beyond that, evidence for sensitive periods is less compelling, meaning that “the earlier the better” rule for enhanced caregiving is a reasonable conclusion at the current state of the science.
0037-976X
147-162
Zeanah, Charles H.
24bb14ef-0f66-46fa-a340-622f09d2778f
Gunnar, Megan R.
ad6d622b-6c14-4410-a9f3-3bbedc6948af
McCall, Robert B.
79cc092b-7844-4c95-98fe-f6b2cdc31b53
Kreppner, Jana M.
6a5f447e-1cfe-4654-95b4-e6f89b0275d6
Fox, Nathan A.
b325ebd0-b31b-4d2c-ae71-7a734a518e4f
Zeanah, Charles H.
24bb14ef-0f66-46fa-a340-622f09d2778f
Gunnar, Megan R.
ad6d622b-6c14-4410-a9f3-3bbedc6948af
McCall, Robert B.
79cc092b-7844-4c95-98fe-f6b2cdc31b53
Kreppner, Jana M.
6a5f447e-1cfe-4654-95b4-e6f89b0275d6
Fox, Nathan A.
b325ebd0-b31b-4d2c-ae71-7a734a518e4f

Zeanah, Charles H., Gunnar, Megan R., McCall, Robert B., Kreppner, Jana M. and Fox, Nathan A. (2011) VI. Sensitive periods. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 76 (4), 147-162. (doi:10.1111/j.1540-5834.2011.00631.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This chapter reviews sensitive periods in human brain development based on the literature on children raised in institutions. Sensitive experiences occur when experiences are uniquely influential for the development of neural circuitry. Because in humans, we make inferences about sensitive periods from evaluations of complex behaviors, we underestimate the occurrence of sensitive periods at the
level of neural circuitry. Although we are most interested in complex behaviors, such as IQ or attachment or externalizing problems, many different sensitive periods at the level of circuits probably underlie these complex behaviors. Results from a number of studies suggest that across most, but not all, domains of development, institutional rearing limited to the first 4–6 months of life is associated with no significant increase risk for long-term adverse effects relative to noninstitutionalized children. Beyond that, evidence for sensitive periods is less compelling, meaning that “the earlier the better” rule for enhanced caregiving is a reasonable conclusion at the current state of the science.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 21 December 2011
Published date: December 2011
Organisations: Clinical Neuroscience

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 356346
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/356346
ISSN: 0037-976X
PURE UUID: 193eb50f-8720-4173-b5b1-39d5d94474db
ORCID for Jana M. Kreppner: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3527-9083

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Date deposited: 26 Sep 2013 16:07
Last modified: 05 Nov 2019 01:44

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