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1994). , 1994). Such early developmental abnormalities may lead to the development of aberrant neural circuitry and often compound themselves into relatively enduring forms of psychopathology (Arnold, 1999; Cicchetti & Cannon, 1999b; Nowakowski & Hayes, 1999). , 1998). , 1994; Lewin, 2004). Consequently, defects in such genes may trigger a cascade of change that is not confined to a particular neural structure, functional system, or behavioral domain. , 1998). Thus, children with genetically constructed abnormal brains must have their environments tailored to their specific deficits.

A View from Schizophrenia Congruent with the theoretical principles of a developmental systems approach on brain development, it is expected that a dedifferentiation and disintegration would characterize the neurobiological and psychological development and functioning of individuals with mental disorders. Much of the contemporary research in the area of neurodevelopment and Schizophrenia owes a significant portion of its historical roots to the formulations of Emil Kraepelin (1919), who conceived of Schizophrenia as a deteriorating brain disease in its natural history, albeit with an onset in early adult life.

2001). , 1996). Furthermore, research with rodents has revealed that naturally occurring variations in maternal care alter the expression of genes whose function is to regulate behavioral and endocrine responses to stress, as well as to modify synaptic development in the hippocampus (Meaney, 2001). In particular, stressors that are imposed on mothers have been shown to increase stress reactivity in their rodent offspring. Thus, quality of parental care is a mediator of the impact that adverse environmental conditions have on neural development in rodents.

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