Nim Tottenham

The Emotional Brain and the Role of Early Experiences

Nim Tottenham

Talk: The Emotional Brain and the Role of Early Experiences

Psychologist and neuroscientist Dr. Nim Tottenham highlights evidence showing how early social experiences may influence development through learning and modification of developmental pathways. These age-related changes will be discussed in terms of potential developmental sensitive periods for environmental influence. Compared to other species, human brain development is very slow, thus maximizing its chances of being influenced by environmental factors. In fact, it is this prolonged development that optimizes human brain development for learning from its environment. Variations in early experiences and environments reveal the profound effects of these influences on emotional development and associated neurobiology.

Nim Tottenham

Professor of Psychology at Columbia University and Director of the Developmental Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. Her research examines brain development underlying emotional behavior in humans, and has highlighted fundamental changes in brain circuitry across development and the powerful role that early experiences, such as caregiving and stress, have on the construction of these circuits.