Resources for Early Childhood Development

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What’s the Amygdala-PFC Connection?

The Wisconsin team found weaker connections in the neural circuits connecting the amygdala with the prefrontal cortex in teenage girls whose parents reported higher stress when the girls were infants. It was as if the threat signals from the amygdala weren’t getting through and couldn’t be assessed properly by the prefrontal cortex.

Tags: neuroscience, stress
Additional Tags: DNA Is Not Destiny, Episode 5

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Stress: The Good, the Bad and the Toxic

Not all stress is the same. There's good stress (for developing), bad stress (from which we can recover), and toxic stress (which is the worst in the long run).

Tags: neuroscience, stress
Additional Tags: DNA Is Not Destiny, Episode 5

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Snap, Snap Synapse

Brains are built. Our early relationships and environments, our history, literally get under the skin and shape the architecture of our developing brain.

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Building a Nest in the Middle of a Desert

In a pioneering experiment, McGill University’s Michael Meaney showed that newborn rat pups which were licked and groomed by their mothers after birth grew up to be relatively calm and inquisitive. But pups of low-licking and grooming mothers grew up to be on a flight-or-flight stress trigger. Does this apply to humans as well?

Tags: neuroscience, stress
Additional Tags: DNA Is Not Destiny

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DNA Is Not Destiny

How do our social environments (nurturing, toxic, and in-between) alter the epigenetic ‘dimmer switches’ that turn our genes on and off—with enduring consequences?

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Reversing the Epigenetic Effects

Humans are resilient organisms and studies show that negative epigenetic effects need not be permanent.

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Can Poverty Modify the Epigenome?

If social conditions can “get under the skin” and modify our biology, are less-affluent children being primed for more problems in life?

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Building a Nest in the Middle of a Desert

Rat mothers like to build nests for their pups with soft materials. But these moms have only been given hard, scratchy, inferior building supplies.

Tags: neuroscience, stress
Additional Tags: DNA Is Not Destiny, Episode 5

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Our Experiences Go Deeper Than We Thought

We’ve long known that early life can last a lifetime. Now new science shows how our experiences can become imprinted in our biology, altering gene expression.

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Can We See Toxic Stress in the Brain?

Which neuron is damaged by toxic stress? For neuroscientists, the answer is clear.

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