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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Early experience and brain development

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Healthy brain development takes place within the context of individual experience. Here, we describe how certain early experiences are necessary for typical brain development. We present evidence from multiple studies showing that severe early life neglect leads to alterations in brain development, which compromises emotional, behavioral, and cognitive functioning. We also show how early intervention can reverse some of the deleterious effects of neglect on brain development. We conclude by emphasizing that early interventions that start at the earliest possible point in human development are most likely to support maximal recovery from early adverse experiences. WIREs Cogn Sci 2017, 8:e1387. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1387

Average total cortical gray matter volume in cubic centimeters (cm3) for children who remained in the institution (i.e., the care‐as‐usual group; CAU), children placed into foster care (i.e., the foster care group; FCG), and children reared by their biological parents (the never institutionalized group; NIG); error bars are ±1 SEM. (Adapted from Ref )
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Distribution of alpha power across the scalp for (a) children who remained in the institution (i.e., the care‐as‐usual group (b) children placed into foster care after 24 months (i.e., the foster care group; FCG > 24 months), (c) children placed into foster care before 24 months (i.e., the foster care group; FCG < 24 months), and (d) children reared with their biological parents, (i.e., the never institutionalized group). (Reprinted with permission Ref in accordance to the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. Copyright 2010 PLOS)
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Average total cortical white matter volume in cubic centimeters (cm3) for children who remained in the institution (i.e., the care‐as‐usual group; CAU), children placed into foster care (i.e., the foster care group; FCG), and children reared by their biological parents (the never institutionalized group; NIG); error bars are ±1 standard error mean (SEM). (Adapted from Ref )
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