Improving care. Changing lives.

Child Mental Health Forum - Charles Nelson, PhD

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:15am

Date & Time: Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:15am

Location: Judge Baker Children's Center, 53 Parker Hill Ave, Boston, MA 02120

The Effects of Early Profound Deprivation on Brain-Behavioral Development

Charles Nelson, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience, Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School;
Professor of Education, Harvard University;
Richard David Scott Chair in Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research, Boston Children's Hospital

Experience is the engine that drives much of postnatal brain development. When children are deprived of key (i.e., experience-expected) experiences, particularly during critical periods of development, brain and behavioral development can be derailed. There is perhaps no more egregious form of deprivation than being raised in large, state-run institutions. 

In my talk, I will introduce a project launched nearly 20 years ago, based in Bucharest, Romania. In the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, three groups of Romanian children are being studied: infants abandoned to institutions and who remain in institutional care; infants abandoned to institutions but then placed in high-quality foster care; and infants who have never been institutionalized. These three groups have been studied through age 16, with a 20 year follow up being planned. In my talk, I will introduce the overall project, including its conceptual framework, its experimental design, the ethics involved in conducting this work and the nature of the intervention we deployed. I will then briefly summarize findings from several key domains, including cognitive development, social-emotional development, psychopathology, brain development, and stress physiology.

Target Audience: Physicians (psychiatrists, pediatricians, child neurologists), psychologists, social workers, other mental health clinicians and researchers, and students and trainees.     

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to: 

1) Identify and describe examples of experience-dependent brain development                                     

2) Identify critical periods of development.                                                                                            

3) Describe at least three effects of early psychosocial deprivation on development.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:15am

If you cannot join us in person, CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STREAMING

Continuing Education (CE/CEU) Information

Physicians: The Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The Harvard Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  

Psychologists: The Children's Hospital Boston Psychology Division is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  The Children's Hospital Boston Psychology Division maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  

Social Workers: The National Association of Social Workers has approved this series for continuing education credits for social workers.