Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wired for survival

"Brain development begins soon after conception and continues after birth. The changes that take place in the brain in the early years of life ensure that an infant becomes highly attuned to the environment into which she was born.

"An infant raised in perilous surroundings will develop brain connections and chemical responses that are highly sensitive to signs of danger.

"Early development is for the long-term. It assumes the environment into which an infant is born will not change significantly over the span of her lifetime.

"Hence the brain connections or chemical tendencies laid down in a dangerous environment at the beginnings of life become entrenched even if an individual finds herself in a safe and secure environment in her adult years, her brain is likely to stay on constant lookout for the slightest signs of danger."

- Early Years 2: Putting Science into Action by Hon. Margaret Norris McCain, J. Fraser Mustard and Dr. Stuart Shanker

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