The major aim of this course is to present the neurobiology of development from conception to birth and neurological and behavioral development in infancy and childhood. The initial emphasis is on embryonic and fetal development of the central nervous system and emergent behavioral plasticity. Sensory and motor developments in the fetus are examined. Postnatal development of the cerebral cortex and behavioral outcomes are explored in the context of environmental effects that can amplify or inhibit adaptive capacity. Biological (e.g., genetic) and environmental (e.g., parenting) influences on brain development of emotion and cognition are addressed. The tremendous plasticity of the brain is emphasized. Plasticity is the ability of the nervous system to respond to change. Neural malleability is maximal in early development, but the capacity for change and repair in the nervous system is maintained throughout life.
Fall 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017