Neurodevelopmental processes in the ontogenesis and epigenesis of psychopathology

Dante Cicchetti, Tyrone D. Cannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Dramatic gains in knowledge have been made in the fields of neuroscience, human development, and developmental psychopathology during the past quarter of a century. Despite the advances that have been achieved in each discipline separately, considerably less progress has occurred in understanding the relation between neurobiological and behavioral development in normal and atypical populations. Research has increasingly demonstrated that abnormalities that occur early in development may result in the emergence of aberrant neural circuitry that eventuates in relatively enduring forms of psychopathology. Knowledge of normal neurobiological development provides a powerful foundation for understanding the contributions that neurodevelopmental processes make to the etiology and sequelae of psychopathology across the life course. An integrated perspective wherein an appreciation of the complex neural, psychological, and social-contextual processes that cohere to bring about normal and pathological outcomes is necessary in order to advance understanding of the genesis and epigenesis of mental disorders. Such an approach will require a reduction of the schisms that so often separate neurobiological and behavioral research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-393
Number of pages19
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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