As summarized in the Institute of Medicine report From Neurons to Neighborhoods, extensive research has documented that the period from birth to age 5 years represents a critical window of human cognitive and social development.1-4 The newborn brain triples in size in the first 2 years of life in direct response to external stimulation. Early experiences of all kinds, cognitive and social, particularly family and parenting experiences, affect children's current and future behavior.5 Improved imaging techniques, genomic studies, and examination of neurotransmitters, cytokines, and hormones have helped to elucidate the biological effects of these early environmental exposures, especially physiological and psychological challenges, on young children's behavior and that of the future adolescent and adult.6,7
Call for Papers for Archives Theme Issue: Influence of Birth to Age 5 Experiences on Emotional and Psychological Health. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009;163(7):666. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.138
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