Impact of Early Life Deprivation on Cognition: Implications for the Evolutionary Origins of the Human Mind

Event Dates: 
Oct 11, 2019 -
1:00pm to 5:30pm
Event Chairs:

Paula Tallal, Salk Institute
Faraneh Vargha-Khadem, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

Unlike the case with most other animals, much of human brain development and maturation occur after birth, a process that continues into early adulthood. This unusual pattern allows for greater influences of environment and culture on the emergence of the adult mind. Ethical considerations disallow most experiments that might address the interactive contributions of nature and nurture in this process, which likely played a key role in the origins of the human species and in the evolution of distinct features of our minds. For similar reasons the relative importance of various factors cannot be easily studied, nor teased part. This symposium will address the matter to the extent possible based on available evidence, ranging from experiments by ancient monarchs and lessons from “feral” children of various kinds, to the follow-up of Romanian orphans, etc. while addressing comparative and neurobiological issues. Notably this symposium is co-sponsored by the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind (KIBM), which organized a 2016 symposium on the Influence of Early Experience on Adult Brain Organization and Function, a logical prelude to this one.

Event Sessions

Media for each talk can be played by clicking on icons in the "Media" column, or by clicking on the individual talk titles below and then the attachment file at the bottom of the page.

Date Media Session Title Speakers
Fri 10/11 File Prologue: Royal Experiments on Language Origins Ajit Varki, UC San Diego School of Medicine
Fri 10/11 File Welcome & Opening Remarks Ajit Varki, UC San Diego School of Medicine
Faraneh Vargha-Khadem, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health
Fri 10/11 File Feral Children: Two Living Examples and a Little Neurology Douglas Candland, Bucknell University
Fri 10/11 File The Effects of Early Psychosocial Deprivation on Brain-Behavioral Development: Findings from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project Charles Nelson, Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Fri 10/11 File Maturational Constraints on Learning Elissa Newport, Georgetown University Medical Center
Fri 10/11 File Individual Differences in Language Development and Disorders Paula Tallal, Salk Institute
Fri 10/11 File Developmental Amnesia Faraneh Vargha-Khadem, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health
Fri 10/11 File Where is My Mother? Uncovering Mechanisms of Neglect in the Maternal Brain Danielle Stolzenberg, UC Davis
Fri 10/11 File Deprivation of Nutrition as a Factor in Human Cognitive Evolution Marcus Pembrey, University of Bristol
Fri 10/11 File The Resilient Brain: Epigenetics, Stress, and the Lifecourse Bruce McEwen, Rockefeller University
Fri 10/11 File Resilience Processes in Development Ann Masten, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Fri 10/11 File Wrap-up, Question and Answer Session, Closing Remarks Paula Tallal, Salk Institute
All Speakers

Event Glossary

A glossary for this event is available as a Searchable List and a PDF icon PDF.