Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development

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

3.87 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
Edited by  , Edited by  , Edited by  , Edited by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days
When will my order arrive?


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 are medical 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 in conditions 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 upon caregiver 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 ideal conditions 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 human development.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 506 pages
  • 163 x 239 x 37mm | 866g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199755051
  • 9780199755059
  • 569,845

Table of contents

Contributors ; Editors ; SECTION I HUMAN NATURE: THE EFFECTS OF EVOLUTION AND ENVIRONMENT ; Chapter 1. The Value of the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness for gauging children's well-being ; Darcia Narvaez, Jaak Panksepp, Allan Schore, Tracy Gleason ; Chapter 2. Bowlby's "Environment of evolutionary adaptedness": Recent studies on the interpersonal neurobiology of attachment and emotional development ; Allan Schore ; Commentary: Early experience, neurobiology, plasticity, vulnerability and resilience by Michael Lamb ; Chapter 3. How primary-process emotional systems guide child development: Ancestral regulators of human happiness, thriving and suffering ; Jaak Panksepp ; Commentary: The integrative meaning of emotion by Daniel Siegel ; Chapter 4. Epigenetics and the environmental regulation of the genome and its function ; Michael Meaney ; Commentary: The messages of epigenetic research by Jerome Kagan ; Chapter 5. Neurobiology and the evolution of mammalian social behavior ; C. Sue Carter and Stephen W. Porges ; Chapter 6. Dopamine: Another 'magic bullet' for caregiver responsiveness? ; Alison Fleming, Viara Mileva-Seitz, Veronica M. Afonso ; Chapter 7. The Neurobiological basis of empathy and its development in the environment of evolutionary adaptedness ; Eric E. Nelson ; Commentary: The Death of Empathy? by Bruce Perry ; SECTION COMMENTARY: Born For Art, and the Joyful Companionship of Fiction by Colwyn Trevarthen ; SECTION II: EARLY EXPERIENCE: THE EFFECTS OF CULTURAL PRACTICE ; Chapter 8. Birth and the first postnatal hour ; Wenda R. Trevathan ; Chapter 9. Night-time nurturing: an evolutionary perspective on breastfeeding and sleep ; Helen Ball and Charlotte Russell ; Chapter 10. Touch and pain perception in infants ; Tiffany Field and Maria Hernandez-Reif ; Chapter 11. Infant feeding practices: rates, risks of not breastfeeding and factors influencing breastfeeding ; Zaharah Sulaiman, Lisa H. Amir and Pranee Liamputtong ; Commentary: Short term and long term effects of oxytocin released by suckling and of skin to skin contact in mothers and infants by Kerstin Uvnas Moberg ; Chapter 12. Developmental optimization ; Darcia Narvaez & Tracy Gleason ; Commentary: Darwin et al. on developmental optimization by David Loye ; SECTION COMMENTARY: Adaptations and Adaptations by Ross Thompson ; SECTION III: THEMES IN HUMAN EVOLUTION ; Chapter 13. Play, plasticity, and ontogeny in childhood ; Anthony D. Pellegrini and Adam F. A. Pellegrini ; Chapter 14. The Value of a play-filled childhood in development of the hunter-gatherer individual ; Peter Gray ; Chapter 15. Rough-and-tumble play and the cooperation-competition dilemma: Evolutionary and developmental perspectives on the development of social competence ; Joseph L. Flanders, Khalisa N. Herman, and Daniel Paquette ; Commentary: Play in Hunter-Gatherers by Barry Hewlett and Adam H. Boyette ; SECTION IV: PERSPECTIVES AND COUNTERPERSPECTIVES ; Chapter 16. Perspective 1: Why would natural selection craft an organism whose future functioning is influenced by its earlier experiences? ; Jay Belsky ; Chapter 17. Perspective 2: Play, Plasticity, and the Perils of Conflict: 'Problematizing' Sociobiology ; Melvin Konner ; Chapter 18. Perspective 3: The Emergent Organism: A New Paradigm ; William Mason ; Chapter 19. Perspective 4: Can science progress to a revitalized past? ; Gay Bradshaw ; Chapter 20. Perspective 5: Earliest experiences and attachment processes ; Howard Steele ; Chapter 21. Perspective 6: Nurturant vs. non-nurturant environments and the failure of the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness ; James W. Prescott ; Chapter 22. 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 context ; James J. McKenna and Lee T. Gettler ; SECTION V: CONCLUSION ; Chapter 23. The Future of human nature: Implications for research, policy, and ethics ; Darcia Narvaez, Jaak Panksepp, Allan Schore and Tracy Gleason ; Subject Index ; Author Index
show more

Review quote

This ambitious book asks such profound questions as: Where do we come from? Why and how are we who we are? In light of evolutionary theory, the authors concentrate specifically on interpersonal experiences early in life and their influence on later health... The text provides a window into the pioneering work in the study of human evolution. * Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association, July 2013 *
show more

About Darcia Narvaez

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 editor of the Journal of Moral Education.
Jaak Panksepp is the Baily Endowed Chair of Animal Well-Being Science at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, in the Department of Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Physiology. His work has been devoted to the analysis of neuroanatomical and neurochemical mechanisms of emotional behavior, with a focus on understanding how basic affective processes are evolutionarily organized in the brain. He is the author of Affective Neuroscience
(2004) and Archaeology of the Mind (2012).

Allan N. Schore is on the clinical faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. His interdisciplinary studies on Regulation Theory, grounded in developmental neuroscience and developmental psychoanalysis, focus on the origin, psychopathogenesis, and psychotherapeutic treatment of the early forming subjective implicit self. He is the author of Affect Regulation and the Repair of the Self (2003) and The Science of
the Art of Psychotherapy (2012).

Tracy R. Gleason is the Whitehead Associate Professor of Critical Thought in the Psychology Department at Wellesley College, where her research focuses on the development of children's understanding of their relationships with others. Dr. Gleason is also Psychological Director of the Wellesley College Child Study Center. Her work has appeared in journals such as Developmental Psychology and the Journal of Educational Psychology.
show more

Rating details

8 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 12% (1)
4 62% (5)
3 25% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X