The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology and Center for Children and Families invites you to a multidisciplinary symposium entitled “Human Nature and Early Experience: Addressing the ‘Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness’” October 10-12, 2010. This symposium brings together an international audience interested in innovative approaches to human development, children, families, parenting, and human evolution. Speakers will present their research on the relationship between caregiving practices and outcomes.
See the schedule and speaker list below.
WEBSITE: For more information, check out the symposium website:
RATIONALE: It is becoming increasingly clear that the ways we are rearing our children today are not the ways humans are designed to thrive. The ill effects of these missing ancestral practices are becoming evident as children’s well being in the USA is worse than 50 years ago (Heckman, 2008) and is among the worst in the industrialized world (20th in family and peer relationships and 21st in health and safety; UNICEF, 2007). We have epidemics of ADHD, anxiety and depression among the young, and, indeed, all age groups (USDHHS, 1999).
Too many children are arriving at school with poor social skills, poor emotion regulation, and habits that do not promote prosocial behaviors. Rates of young children whose behavior displays aggression, delinquency, or hyperactivity are estimated to be as high as 25% (Raver, & Knitze, 2002). The expulsion rate of prekindergarten children (Gilliam, 2005) and the number of children under age 5 with psychosocial problems (Powell et al., 2003) or on psychotropic medications have increased dramatically in recent years (Zito et al., 2000).
Mammals require nurturing care-giving for optimal post-natal development. Animal, human psychological and anthropological research provide converging evidence for the importance of conditions related to the “environment of evolutionary adaptedness” (EEA; Bowlby, 1951) for optimal brain and body system development in human beings. At the same time, epigenomic studies are beginning to better demonstrate the influence of caregiver behavior on offspring.
Despite the growing evidence for the effects of particular childrearing practices on brain development, scientific theory and policy recommendations do not match up with the findings. HOST: This symposium is being sponsored by Notre Dame’s Center for Children and Families (CCF), the Collaborative for Ethical Education (CEE) and the Department of Psychology. The Center for Children and Families brings scholars together to conduct innovative, interdisciplinary research in support of healthy development across the human lifespan.
The center encourages basic and translational research that can have a broad impact in three key areas: income and health disparities; developmental disabilities and psychopathology; and optimization of development, education, and learning. GOALS: It is anticipated that the symposium will lead to new theory and research designed to shed light on which practices are most essential to child rearing and development. There is an increasing amount of converging evidence across animal, human psychological, neurobiological and anthropological research demonstrating the later vulnerability of brain and body systems among those with poor early care.
Even when medicines are available to alleviate symptoms of dysfunction, the underlying suboptimal structures remain.
Examining closely what types of care are essential for optimal development will inform not only scientific research and theory, but public policy and inform translational research. REGISTRATION (to register, click here) Registration fees (include all meeting materials, refreshments, reception and lunches) • Physicians: $250 • Other health care professionals/educators/researchers: $150 • Students, underemployed and unemployed: $90 • All fees will increase by $25 after September 10. Lodging: A block of rooms has been reserved for this conference at The Morris Inn the nights of October 10 and 11. The cost for a single room is $149.16 and a double $171.76; both rates include applicable taxes and hot breakfast. Please contact The Morris Inn directly at 574-631-2000 to make your reservation.
For a list of the other hotels in the area, please click here. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Email: email@example.com We hope to see you there, Darcia Narvaez, Program Chair Local Planning Group National Planning Group Chair: Darcia Narvaez, Psychology, CEE Jaak Panksepp, Washington State University Julia Braungart-Rieker, Psychology, CCF Allan Schore, UCLA Agustin Fuentes, Anthropology Tracy Gleason, Wellesley College Daniel Lende, Anthropology James McKenna, Anthropology Jessica Payne, Psychology Kristin Valentino, Psychology Michelle Wirth, Psychology Human Nature and Early Experience: Addressing the ‘Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness’ October 10-12, 2010 SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE
Location: McKenna Hall Auditorium (unless otherwise noted) Speakers and working titles SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10 4:00 Registration and Opening Reception Setting the Stage 5:00 – 7:30 pm SPEAKER: Jaak Panksepp, Washington State University TOPIC: Social Emotion Systems of Mammalian Brains and Vicissitude of Early
Social Bonds: The Transformation of Social Delight to Grief, Depression and Despair. SPEAKER: James Prescott, Institute of Humanistic Science (formerly of NICHD) TOPIC: Early Research on Emotion Development and the Implications for Human Society SPEAKER: Allan Schore, UCLA
TOPIC: Bowlby’s “Environment of evolutionary adaptedness”: Recent studies on the interpersonal neurobiology of attachment and emotional development. MONDAY, OCTOBER 11: 8:00am-5:00pm 8:00 Coffee and snacks (included with registration) 8:30 Welcome and Introduction 9:00-12:00 4 speakers (30 minutes speaking plus 15 minutes for discussion, each) SPEAKER: Michael Meaney, Douglas Hospital Research Center, McGill University, Toronto
TOPIC: The Effects of Early Experience on Brain Structure and Functioning SPEAKER: Stephen J. Suomi, NIH TOPIC: Social Bonding in Early Development SPEAKER: S. W. Porges, University of Illinois-Chicago
TOPIC: Fussy Babies and the Autonomic Nervous System SPEAKER: C. Sue Carter, University of Illinois-Chicago TOPIC: Oxytocin and Early Experience 12:00-1:00 Lunch (included with registration) 1:00-4:00 4 speakers (30 minutes speaking plus 15 minutes for discussion) SPEAKER: Wenda R. Trevathan, New Mexico State University
TOPIC: Natural Childbirth SPEAKER: Pranee Liamputtong, La Trobe University, Victoria Australia TOPIC: Infant feeding practices: Benefits of breast milk and the impact of employment on infant feeding practices SPEAKER: Helen Ball, Durham University (with Dr. Charlotte Russell) TOPIC: The Importance of Co-Sleeping SPEAKER: Alison Fleming, University of Toronto
TOPIC: Caregiver Responsivity: Prompt Response to Needs 4:00-5:00 Colwyn Trevarthen, Discussant, and General Discussion 7:00-830 Film: The Business of Being Born TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12: 8:00am-5:00pm 8:30 Coffee and snacks (included with registration) 9:00-12:00 4 speakers (30 minutes speaking plus 15 minutes for discussion) SPEAKER: M.H. Teicher, MacLean Hospital, Harvard University
TOPIC: The Effects of Early Experience on Brain Structure and Functioning SPEAKER: Vincent Felliti, California Institutes of Preventive Medicine TOPIC: “The Relationship of Adverse Childhood Experiences to Adult Health, Well-being, and Social Function” SPEAKER: James McKenna, University of Notre Dame
TOPIC: Mothers, Fathers, Infants and Alloparents In Evolutionary Perspective: Revising the Conceptual Relevance of The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness SPEAKER: Joseph Flanders, McGill University
TOPIC: Movement, Play and Multi-Age Playmates 12:00-1:00 Lunch (included with registration) 1:00-3:30 4 speakers (30 minutes speaking plus 15 minutes for discussion) SPEAKER: Douglas Fry, Åbo Akademi University in Finland
TOPIC: Cultural Influences on Human Nature SPEAKER: Agustin Fuentes, University of Notre Dame TOPIC: Social cooperation, niche construction, and the core role of intergenerational bonding in human evolution SPEAKER: Joan Roughgarden, Stanford University
TOPIC: The Genial Gene: Is there an Alternative Evolutionary Story? SPEAKER: Darcia Narvaez, University of Notre Dame, and Tracy Gleason, Wellesley College TOPIC: Ancestral Life Characteristics: Influence on Moral Functioning 3:30-4:00 Discussant Jay Belsky, Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues, London 4:00-5:00 Final discussion (separate room for clinical)