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Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development


Have you ever wondered how it is that positive and negative experiences in early childhood can affect our health and well-being as adults?

In the early years of life a child’s brain is being sculpted by the experiences it receives. Experiences act on genes like a dimmer switch to increase or decrease the amount of protein that a gene makes in response to a given environment. These interactions between genes and environment is what we call epigenetics.

In short, the way experience gets embedded in our biology is what explains individual differences in children’s development and health.

To learn more on epigenetics, read the Encyclopedia.

Epigenetics: How experience

Information sheet

Epigenetics: How experience
"gets inside" our biology

Epigenetics is a process in which our cells
are changed by our environment.

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Topic Editors:
Drs. Marla Sokolowski and Tom Boyce,
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
This topic is funded by:
Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development

“We provide readers with the most up-to-date, evidence-based information on early development to empower and enlighten decisions.”


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[Last update: 30/04/2018]