Early experience and sensitive periods in development
The purpose of the Workshop is to highlight new perspectives on how early experience affects social and cognitive development, with particular attention to sensitive periods in brain development. Sensitive periods will be evaluated in terms of experience-expectant and experience-dependent mechanisms across different domains, with attention to both proximal and distal term effects of experiences to explore the potentials and limits of brain plasticity. Another goal of the workshop is to examine interactions between genes and early environment (prenatal and postnatal) and their impact on circuitry and the development of social and emotional behavior. The use of human and animal models will help participants better understand the biological mechanisms and learning processes involved in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Lastly, the workshop will foster scientific interactions with the objective of evaluating how training or neurorehabilitative approaches might overcome the effects of adverse early experience and how sensitivite periods could be re-opened.