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Ancestral Landscapes in Human EvolutionCulture, Childrearing and Social Wellbeing$
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Darcia Narvaez, Kristin Valentino, Agustin Fuentes, James J. McKenna, and Peter Gray

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199964253

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199964253.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 July 2021

Nonhuman Primate Models of Mental Health

Nonhuman Primate Models of Mental Health

Early Life Experiences Affect Developmental Trajectories

(p.42) 3 Nonhuman Primate Models of Mental Health
Ancestral Landscapes in Human Evolution

Amanda M. Dettmer

Stephen J. Suomi

Katie Hinde

Oxford University Press

John Bowlby’s delineation of the significance of the attachment between mother and infant and his generic “perceptuo-motor mechanisms” that “tie” infants and mothers together are brought to life by the endocrinological and psychobiological framework used in this chapter. In Chapter 3, early life experiences effect developmental trajectories, through a variety of observational, genetic, and physiological techniques the authors provide multiple examples of new research that explains and interpret the underlying psychological, neurological, and endocrine processes being influenced by, and responding to, the primate infant’s early developmental conditions. These conditions may be deficient and require compensatory responses such as cortisol reactivity, potentially leading to more fearfulness, increased inhibition, and less play, or they may be more favorable environments that provide an abundance of maternal and peer-based social support, thereby producing “confidence” and maximum resilience of individuals if stressed. Moreover, not only is the infant’s early social environment predictive of its later development: components in mother’s milk, namely cortisol, are shown to influence infant temperament and behavior as well. Thus, myriad genetic, physiological and environmental factors contribute to the infant’s developmental trajectory.

Keywords:   early experience, development, mental health, primate

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