About this Research Topic
Recent advances in developmental science at the intersection between biology, psychology and neuroscience suggest that the early experiences are crucial in shaping the initial trajectories of developmental programming in young individuals. We have now accumulating evidence showing that early adverse experiences – in terms of prenatal, perinatal or post-natal stress exposures – have an impact on the biology (e.g., epigenetic regulation, programming of the HPA axis, etc.) as well as on the phenotype (e.g., stress regulation, behavior regulation, socio-emotional skills, cognitive development) of the offspring both in animal and human models. Moreover, a limited amount of literature is also revealing that early care experiences might be protective for the biological, behavioral and cognitive development of the offspring, potentially through an association with counterbalancing effects at the level of the same biochemical and environmental mechanisms and processes associated with early adversities. Evidence of such a protective effect of early intervention is supported by studies focused on environmental enrichment in animal models as well as on caregiving support and parental sensitivity in human infants and children.
This Research Topic is aiming to collect evidence from researchers who are engaged in research projects focused on the behavioral and biological correlates of early risk and protective factors in human development and/or animal models. This collection of papers will act as a call for action in this field of research, hopefully integrating the expertise and interests of both researchers and clinicians.
Consistently, the present Research Topic will examine the epigenetic correlates of the association of early adversity and/or protective and caring interventions with developmental outcomes. We welcome studies involving human subjects and/or animal models. Moreover, developmental outcomes might include one or more of the following domains: behavior, cognition, socio-emotional skills, social-cognition, stress regulation. Contributions from intersecting disciplines as well as from integrated team of researchers and clinicians will be included. Finally, different types of manuscript (i.e., mini review, original research, protocols, perspective, review) might be submitted, provided that they are consistent with the aims of the Research Topic.
Keywords: Adversity, Early intervention, Epigenetics, Stress, Parenting
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.