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Early Experiences Shape the Brain
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Station Description

Decades of rigorous research in neuroscience and developmental psychology have given us the core concepts about how to build a strong foundation for a prosperous society. Invest In US introduces the science behind healthy development in the earliest years through a video featuring Dr. Jack Shonkoff, Director of Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. He explains the fundamentals of brain architecture, how the “serve and return” process between a child and his caregivers wires the brain—and how that brain architecture can be damaged by toxic stress in the early years.
For a powerful and heartbreaking glimpse into the world of an infant experiencing stress, Invest In US highlights the “still face” experiment. Devised by Dr. Edward Tronick, this two-minute experiment starkly shows not only the importance of positive, engaging caregiver interactions, but also the devastating speed at which an infant can become become distressed and then withdrawn in the case of their caregiver's absence.