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Front Neuroendocrinol. 2016 Jan;40:52-66. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2015.11.001. Epub 2015 Nov 23.

Influence of maternal care on the developing brain: Mechanisms, temporal dynamics and sensitive periods.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Columbia University, Room 406 Schermerhorn Hall, 1190 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA; Center for Integrative Animal Behavior, Columbia University, 1200 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA. Electronic address: jc3181@columbia.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, Columbia University, Room 406 Schermerhorn Hall, 1190 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA; Center for Integrative Animal Behavior, Columbia University, 1200 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA. Electronic address: fac2105@columbia.edu.

Abstract

Variation in maternal care can lead to divergent developmental trajectories in offspring with implications for neuroendocrine function and behavioral phenotypes. Study of the long-term outcomes associated with mother-infant interactions suggests complex mechanisms linking the experience of variation in maternal care and these neurobiological consequences. Through integration of genetic, molecular, cellular, neuroanatomical, and neuroendocrine approaches, significant advances in our understanding of these complex pathways have been achieved. In this review, we will consider the impact of maternal care on male and female offspring development with a particular focus on the issues of timing and mechanism. Identifying the period of sensitivity to maternal care and the temporal dynamics of the molecular and neuroendocrine changes that are a consequence of maternal care represents a critical step in the study of mechanism.

KEYWORDS:

Development; Epigenetic; Maternal; Offspring; Sensitive period; Timing

PMID:
26616341
PMCID:
PMC4783284
DOI:
10.1016/j.yfrne.2015.11.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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