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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Robustness and plasticity in development

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Like the game of chess, the overall development of human behavior is highly regulated, and also many finer points of any particular individual life depend on early moves. The robust mechanisms that make species different from each other also impact processes that make individuals distinct from one another. Children both influence their environment and are influenced by it. As the development of any particular skill depends upon the contribution of particular environmental inputs at particular times, environmental variability can dramatically change the process. Development is seldom a linear process: while large environmental changes sometimes have little effect on developmental outcomes, small changes can have enormous (if not always immediate) effects. If we are to unravel these complex interdependencies, we must study the interplay among developmental factors that generates change. WIREs Cogn Sci 2017, 8:e1386. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1386

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