Pre-congress Institute 1

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Pre-congress Institute 1
Early adverse experience, social development and neural plasticity. Methods of investigation and interventions

SAT May 26: 08:30 – 12:00 hrs


Lynne Murray, University of Reading (UK)
Pasco Fearon, University College London (UK)
Pier Francesco Ferrari, CNRS (France)

The aim of this workshop will be to provide a state of the art perspective on infant’s social development within the framework of effects of early experience and neurophysiological mechanisms.

The program will be organized into two parts. The first one (8:30-10:15) will be an overview on three major topics:

  1. Early communication in mother-infant interactions, and implications of disturbances of early social exchanges on social-cognitive development.
  2. Neural development and plasticity within an evolutionary perspective. A lesson from the neurophysiological studies of the mirror neuron system in humans and monkeys.
  3. The effects of early adverse experiences on the development of the infant’s social cognitive and social development, potential implications for psychopathology.


The second part (10:30-12:00) will cover several methodological aspects for investigating mother-infants interactions, with particular emphasis on intervention programs. More specifically the following topics will be analyzed:

  • Microanalysis of behavior during mother-infant interactions. Using early behavioral markers to predict developmental trajectories.
  • Example of intervention programs for infants exposed to disturbances in early parent-infant interactions