Early-life experience and development
Professor Bruce McEwen discusses the dramatic impact early-life events can have on development.
The now classic studies of the late Seymour Levine and colleagues [and] Victor Denenberg showed that separation of pups from their mothers – this is rat or mouse pups – early in life for brief periods of time, like ten minutes a day, during the first two weeks before the eyes open leads to a more laid back personality, if you will. Other studies by people like Michael Meaney and so on, and Robert Sapolsky, I should add, have shown that these animals age more slowly, they have a longer life span, in general. Of course, then, the Meaney and Moshe Szyf studies have shown that there is a modification of DNA, the methylation or demethylation of cytosine bases in certain genes, that has an epigenetic and even trans-generational effect. So, a mother who has a …well, and that the mediator of these handling effects that Levine and Denenberg originally found is actually the amount of maternal care that the mother pays attention – how much licking and grooming occurs. The more licking and grooming, according to the Michael Meaney view, the more laid back the animals will be, the longer the life they will have, the more, perhaps, cognitively sharp they will be. But you have to remember, that’s in a safe environment; if it’s in a dangerous environment, then having a more anxious personality, a more wary personality, may actually be better for survival, so it’s very much dependent on the living environment, and you can easily extrapolate that to people.
earlt, life, experience, cognitive, development, personality, environment, nurture, separation, bruce, mcewen
Professor Bruce McEwen notes that stimulation during early life can lead to a better cognitive outcome.
An overview of thinking-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
Professor Bruce McEwen describes how the interplay between life events and genes can lead to behavioral problems.
Professor Bruce McEwen discusses differences between the sexes in coping with stress. These are mediated by hormonal, neural, and genetic factors.
Professor Bruce McEwen outlines the environmental, genetic, and experiential factors that can cause tolerable stress to become toxic.
11969. Record of Family Faculties, by Francis Galton (compiled with completed family pedigree forms), selected pages (10)
Record of Family Faculties, by Francis Galton (compiled with completed family pedigree forms), selected pages (10)
Professor Bruce McEwen describes the interplay between reilience and stress, which can cause the brain to shrink or grow.
A neurobiologist and a philosopher adapt the perspectives of their disciplines to develop a uniﬁed account of morality.
New technologies that permit us to observe the workings of the human brain and to influence its function also raise critical ethical and policy questions.
An overview of depression-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.