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Toxic Stress Derails Healthy Development

Learning how to cope with adversity is an important part of healthy development. While moderate, short-lived stress responses in the body can promote growth, toxic stress is the strong, unrelieved activation of the body’s stress management system in the absence of protective adult support. 

This video is part three of a three-part series titled "Three Core Concepts in Early Development" from the Center and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child

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Experiences Build Brain Architecture

The basic architecture of the brain is constructed through a process that begins early in life and continues into adulthood. Simpler circuits come first and more complex brain circuits build on them later. Genes provide the basic blueprint, but experiences influence how or whether genes are expressed.

This video is part one of a three-part series titled "Three Core Concepts in Early Development" from the Center and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child

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Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry

One of the most essential experiences in shaping the architecture of the developing brain is "serve and return" interaction between children and significant adults in their lives.

This video is part two of a three-part series titled "Three Core Concepts in Early Development" from the Center and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

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National Scientific Council on the
Developing Child

The Council is the Center’s flagship initiative on translating science into policy. This unique, multi-disciplinary, multi-university group of scientists and scholars synthesizes and communicates the science of early childhood and early brain development in order to inform public discourse and policy making. More >>

 

Working Paper

The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain

Working Paper 12Extensive biological and developmental research over the past 30 years has generated substantial evidence that young children who experience severe deprivation or significant neglect—defined broadly as the ongoing disruption or significant absence of caregiver responsiveness—bear the burdens of a range of adverse consequences. This Working Paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child explains why significant deprivation is so harmful in the earliest years of life and why effective interventions are likely to pay significant dividends in better long-term outcomes in learning, health, and parenting of the next generation. Read more >>

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Driving Science-Based Innovation in Policy & Practice

INTERACTIVE FEATURE

Driving Science-Based Innovation in Policy and Practice: A Logic Model

This narrated interactive feature presents a logic model showing how policies and programs that strengthen specific kinds of caregiver and community capacities can build the foundations of healthy development. These support beneficial biological adaptations in the brain and other organ systems, which lead to positive outcomes in health and development across the lifespan.

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Interactive Feature

How Early Experiences Alter Gene Expression and Shape Development

interactive-gene-2cols.jpgThis interactive feature describes and explains in simple terms how early experiences get into the body and change how genes are expressed, with lifelong consequences on developing organs, including the brain. Using an easy-to-follow slideshow format, this feature illustrates key scientific concepts from Working Paper #10: Early Experiences Can Alter Gene Expression and Affect Long-Term Development.

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Interactive Features

These online slideshows describe and explain key concepts in the science of early childhood development and early childhood program evaluation research. More >>

Toxic Stress: The Facts

Learn about toxic stress response; how it differs from two other stress responses, positive and tolerable; and how it can be prevented or even reversed. More >>

Translating Science

Science has an important role to play in helping policymakers respond to complex social problems, including those affecting children. Yet the data do not always speak for themselves. More >>