Bucharest Early Intervention Project This project examines the effects of intervention (in this case, foster care) on children who have been raised in orphanages.
EFFECTS OF EARLY EXPERIENCE ON BRAIN-BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT
Several of our research projects examine the effects of early experiences on brain and behavioral development. Our most recent project in this vein is the Bucharest Early Intervention Project.
Many children raised in orphanages in Romania are at dramatically increased risk for a number of social and behavioral abnormalities such as disturbances of attachment, inattention/hyperactivity, externalizing behavior problems, and a syndrome that mimics autism.
This study compares children ranging in age from 3 to 30 months who are being raised in several orphanages in Bucharest, Romania, with one group of children of the same age removed from orphanages and placed into foster care, and another group of children of the same age who were raised in their home …
An enormous range of activities could fall under this heading. In this area we seek to focus on the role of experience in shaping physiology; physiology which in turn drives development and leads to behavioral outcomes. Our initial efforts focus on how early maternal (and possibly paternal) contact influences brain development and the consequent emotional development.
The importance of early socio-emotional relationships in facilitating healthy brain-behavioral development has recently been brought to our attention by what happens when otherwise normal, healthy infants are deprived of such relationships. For example, although children reared in institutionalized orphanages are deprived of a range of experiences (e.g., linguistic input; the opportunity to move and explore the environment), what most stands out in terms of their rearing is the profound deprivation from human contact; these children were not talked to, picked up, hugged, kissed, played with, and so forth. Not all such children suffer profound …