The Biological and Social Determinants of Child Development stimulates cross-disciplinary communication and research collaboration in the field of child development. While the papers in this issue seem diverse in terms of topic and discipline, there are a number of common themes:
*critical period for brain development and the importance of specific environmental input during this period;
*importance of early brain development and enriched environments is supported in articles describing findings from human studies;
*potential for brain plasticity following specialized retraining is found in a compelling paper demonstrating different profiles of brain activation for normal readers vs. those who have dyslexia and younger children at high risk for development of reading disabilities; and
*critical period, brain plasticity, and parallel changes in developing behavior and brain structure and functioning.
As a number of papers in this issue describe potential interventions, one is relevant because it describes the numerous factors that make results of such studies have the potential to generalize to larger populations. Putting the described papers in a broad perspective, the last article argues that we cannot understand the health status of a society without understanding the health-determining influences across the life course.
Volume 24, Numbers 2 & 3, 2003
Contents: S.H. Landry, Introduction to the Special Issue on the Biological and Social Determinants of Child Development. M.R. Rosenzweig, Effects of Differential Experience on Brain and Behavior. D.L. Molfese, V.J. Molfese, A.F. Key, S. Kelly, Influence of Environment on Speech Sound Discrimination: Findings From a Longitudinal Study. S.H. Landry, K.E. Smith, P.R. Swank, The Importance of Parenting During Early Childhood for School Age Development. A.C. Papanicolaou, P.G. Simos, J.I. Breier, J.M. Fletcher, B.R. Foorman, D. Francis, E.M. Castillo, R.N. Davis, Brain Mechanisms for Reading in Children With and Without Dyslexia: A Review of Studies of Normal Development and Plasticity. B.R. Foorman, J.I. Breier, J.M. Fletcher, Interventions Aimed at Improving Reading Success: An Evidence-Based Approach. J. Stiles, P. Moses, A. Passarotti, F. Dick, R. Buxton, Exploring Developmental Change in the Neural Bases of Higher Cognitive Functions: The Promise of Functional Magnetic Resonanace Imaging. L. Ewing-Cobbs, M.A. Barnes, J.M. Fletcher, Early Brain Injury in Children: Development and Reorganization of Cognitivie Function. H.C. Kraemer, "Rules" of Evidence in Assessing the Efficacy/Effectiveness of Treatments. C. Hertzman, C. Power, Health and Human Development: Understandings From Life Course Research.