Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development: From Research to Practice and Policy

Hardcover | October 18, 2012

EditorDarcia Narvaez, Jaak Panksepp, Allan N. Schore

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The field of cognitive psychology has expanded rapidly in recent years, with experts in affective and cognitive neuroscience revealing more about mammalian brain function than ever before. In contrast, psychological problems such as ADHD, autism, anxiety, and depression are on the rise, as aremedical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and autoimmune disorders. Why, in this era of unprecedented scientific self-knowledge, does there seem to be so much uncertainty about what human beings need for optimal development?Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development asserts that human development is being misshaped by government policies, social practices, and public beliefs that fail to consider basic human needs. In this pioneering volume, scientists from a range of disciplines theorize that the increase inconditions such as depression and obesity can be partially attributed to a disparity between the environments and conditions under which our mammalian brains currently develop and our evolutionary heritage. For example, healthy brain and emotional development depends to a significant extent uponcaregiver availability and quality of care. These include practices such as breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and parental social support, which have waned in modern society, but nevertheless may be integral to healthy development. As the authors argue, without a more informed appreciation of the idealconditions under which human brains/minds develop and function, human beings will continue to struggle with suboptimal mental and physical health, and as problems emerge psychological treatments alone will not be effective. The best approach is to recognize these needs at the outset so as to optimize child development. Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development puts forth a logical, empirically based argument regarding human mammalian needs for optimal development, based on research from anthropology,neurobiology, animal science, and human development. The result is a unique exploration of evolutionary approaches to human behavior that will support the advancement of new policies, new attitudes towards health, and alterations in childcare practices that will better promote healthy humandevelopment.

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The field of cognitive psychology has expanded rapidly in recent years, with experts in affective and cognitive neuroscience revealing more about mammalian brain function than ever before. In contrast, psychological problems such as ADHD, autism, anxiety, and depression are on the rise, as aremedical conditions such as diabetes, obesit...

Darcia Narvaez is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. Her research focuses on moral development through the lifespan with a particular emphasis on early life effects on the neurobiology underpinning moral functioning (triune ethics theory). Dr. Narvaez has co-authored or co-edited seven books and is edit...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:512 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:October 18, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199755051

ISBN - 13:9780199755059

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Table of Contents

ContributorsEditorsSection I: Human Nature: The Effects of Evolution and Environment1. Darcia Narvaez, Jaak Panksepp, Allan Schore, Tracy Gleason: The Value of the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness for gauging children's well-being2. Allan Schore: Darcia Narvaez, Jaak Panksepp, Allan Schore, Tracy GleasonMichael Lamb: Commentary: Early experience, neurobiology, plasticity, vulnerability and resilience3. Jaak Panksepp: How primary-process emotional systems guide child development: Ancestral regulators of human happiness, thriving and sufferingDaniel Siegel: Commentary: The integrative meaning of emotion4. Michael Meaney: Epigenetics and the environmental regulation of the genome and its functionJerome Kagan: Commentary: The messages of epigenetic research5. C. Sue Carter and Stephen W. Porges: Neurobiology and the evolution of mammalian social behavior6. Alison Fleming, Viara Mileva-Seitz, Veronica M. Afonso: Dopamine: Another 'magic bullet' for caregiver responsiveness?7. Eric E. Nelson: The Neurobiological basis of empathy and its development in the environment of evolutionary adaptednessBruce Perry: Commentary: The Death of Empathy?Colwyn Trevarthen: Section Commnetary: Born For Art, and the Joyful Companionship of FictionSection II: Early Experience: The Effects of Cultural Practice8. Wenda R. Trevathan: Birth and the first postnatal hour9. Helen Ball and Charlotte Russell: Night-time nurturing: an evolutionary perspective on breastfeeding and sleep10. Tiffany Field and Maria Hernandez-Reif: Touch and pain perception in infants11. Zaharah Sulaiman, Lisa H. Amir and Pranee Liamputtong: Infant feeding practices: rates, risks of not breastfeeding and factors influencing breastfeedingKerstin Uvn,s Moberg: Commentary: Short term and long term effects of oxytocin released by suckling and of skin to skin contact in mothers and infants12. Darcia Narvaez and Tracy Gleason: Developmental optimizationDavid Loye: Commentary: Darwin et al. on developmental optimizationRoss Thompson: Section Commentary: Adaptations and AdaptationsSection III: Themes in Human Evolution13. Anthony D. Pellegrini and Adam F. A. Pellegrini: Play, plasticity, and ontogeny in childhood14. Peter Gray: The Value of a play-filled childhood in development of the hunter-gatherer individual15. Joseph L. Flanders, Khalisa N. Herman, and Daniel Paquette: Rough-and-tumble play and the cooperation-competition dilemma: Evolutionary and developmental perspectives on the development of social competenceBarry Hewlett and Adam H. Boyette: Commentary: Play in Hunter-GatherersSection IV: Perspectives and Counterperspectives16. Jay Belsky: Perspective 1: Why would natural selection craft an organism whose future functioning is influenced by its earlier experiences?17. Melvin Konner: Perspective 2: Play, Plasticity, and the Perils of Conflict: 'Problematizing' Sociobiology18. William Mason: Perspective 3: The Emergent Organism: A New Paradigm19. Gay Bradshaw: Perspective 4: Can science progress to a revitalized past?20. Howard Steele: Perspective 5: Earliest experiences and attachment processes21. James W. Prescott: Perspective 6: Nurturant vs. non-nurturant environments and the failure of the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness22. James J. McKenna and Lee T. Gettler: Perspective 7: It's dangerous to be an infant: on-going relevance of John Bowlby's Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness (the EEA) in promoting healthier births, safer maternal-infant sleep, and breastfeeding in a contemporary western industrial contextSection V: Conclusion23. Darcia Narvaez, Jaak Panksepp, Allan Schore and Tracy Gleason: The Future of human nature: Implications for research, policy, and ethicsSubject IndexAuthor Index