- Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University - https://developingchild.harvard.edu -

Gene-Environment Interaction

Science tells us that the interactions between genes and environment shape human development. Despite the misconception that genes are “set in stone,” research shows that early experiences can determine how genes are turned on and off [1] — and even whether some are expressed at all. The healthy development of all organs, including the brain, depends on how much and when certain genes are activated to do certain tasks. The experiences that children have early in life, therefore, play a crucial role in the development of brain architecture [2]. Ensuring that children have appropriate, growth-promoting early experiences is an investment in their ability to become healthy, productive members of society.