The writing of this article was made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Fellowship at Harvard Medical School (to Sharon Fox), the NIH (NS03445; MH078829), the John D. and Catherine T. Macarthur Foundation and the Richard David Scott Chair (to Charles A. Nelson), and the Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair, NIMH Grant MH080759 and NICHD P30 core Grant HD15052 (to Pat Levitt).
How the Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Influence the Development of Brain Architecture
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2010
© 2010, Copyright the Author(s). Journal Compilation © 2010, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 81, Issue 1, pages 28–40, January/February 2010
How to Cite
Fox, S. E., Levitt, P. and Nelson III, C. A. (2010), How the Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Influence the Development of Brain Architecture. Child Development, 81: 28–40. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01380.x
- Issue published online: 4 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2010
Early life events can exert a powerful influence on both the pattern of brain architecture and behavioral development. In this study a conceptual framework is provided for considering how the structure of early experience gets “under the skin.” The study begins with a description of the genetic framework that lays the foundation for brain development, and then proceeds to the ways experience interacts with and modifies the structures and functions of the developing brain. Much of the attention is focused on early experience and sensitive periods, although it is made clear that later experience also plays an important role in maintaining and elaborating this early wiring diagram, which is critical to establishing a solid footing for development beyond the early years.