Skip to main content
4th Annual Cowan Lecture: "Sensitive Periods in Human Development" -

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

4th Annual Cowan Lecture: “Sensitive Periods in Human Development”

November 2, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

This year’s speaker is Charles Nelson, Ph.D., a renowned neuroscientist who studies the effects of early experience on brain and behavioral development. He is well-known for his work with the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, studying the development of orphans who have suffered extreme neglect, and co-authored a book,Romania’s Abandoned Children. With the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Nelson has international projects in Bangladesh, Romania, Brazil, and Pakistan.


Experience is the engine that drives much of much post-natal brain development. When children are deprived of key experiences, brain and behavioral development can be derailed. His lecture will explore an egregious form of deprivation: being raised in large, state-run institutions. Three groups of Romanian children were 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 were studied through age 16 and a 20-year follow-up is currently underway. Dr. Nelson will share findings from several domains, including cognitive development, social-emotional development, psychopathology, brain development, and stress physiology.


Please join us on Friday, November 2 at 3:00 PM in FedEx for the lecture and reception. This event is free and open to the public, thanks to generous sponsorship from the Cowan Family Foundation.


November 2, 2018
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm