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V. THE NEUROBIOLOGICAL TOLL OF EARLY HUMAN DEPRIVATION

Authors


  • The writing of this chapter was made possible by funds from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (Nelson), Richard David Scott endowment (Nelson), and the National Institute of Mental Health, R01 MH068857 (Gunnar).

Corresponding author: Charles A. Nelson, e-mail: charles.nelson@childrens.harvard.edu

Abstract

Children raised in institutions frequently suffer from a variety of behavioral, emotional, and neuropsychological sequelae, including deficits in attention, executive functions, disorders of attachment, and in some cases a syndrome that mimics autism. The extent and severity of these disorders appear to be mediated, in part, by the age at which the child entered and, in some cases, left the institution. Here we review the neurobiological literature on early institutionalization that may account for the psychological and neurological sequelae discussed in other chapters in this volume.

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