The Developing Brain and Neural Plasticity: Implications for Normality, Psychopathology, and Resilience

Dante Cicchetti, W. John Curtis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

31 Scopus citations


This chapter examines neurobiological development in normal and illustrative high-risk conditions and mental disorders. It reviews relevant findings on neural plasticity and their potential contributions to the understanding of psychopathology and adaptive functioning. Additionally, the chapter discusses the neurobiological correlates of, and contributors to, resilient adaptation. Because the mechanisms of neural plasticity cause the brain's anatomical differentiation to be dependent on stimulation from the environment, it is now clear that the cytoarchitecture of the cerebral cortex also is shaped by input from the social environment. Many of the conceptualizations of neural-structural abnormalities underlying the behavioral manifestations of Autism have been based on data obtained through neuropsychological assessment of children with Autism. Finally, it concludes with a discussion of future work that can advance knowledge and inform prevention and intervention efforts in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopmental Neuroscience
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd.
Number of pages64
ISBN (Electronic)9780470939390
ISBN (Print)047123737X, 9780471237372
StatePublished - Sep 6 2015


  • Autism
  • Brain development
  • Brain plasticity
  • Brain's anatomical differentiation
  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Neural plasticity
  • Neuroscience
  • Resilient adaptation
  • Self-organization


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