Effects of Non-Stimulating Environment on Infant Development

Hi, I tried a search here and failed and it seems my google-fu is weak as Mcdonald’s coffee so I come, hat in hand, for direction.

What are the effects of a non-stimulating environment on infant development?


A recent article in The Economist on the subject. Enjoy.

Details follow in the article.

The concept of deprived environments affecting brain growth goes back to studies by Diamond et al., who measured cortical thickness in rats raised in “enriched” vs “impoverished” environments, and later by William T Greenough of the University of Illinois, who measured dendritic branching patterns in the same comparison groups. A review of some of that work and more is here.

Proving it in humans has been a bit more dicey (which makes the studies in that Economist so important), and defining what is “enriched” vs “impoverished” not as obvious as it sounds.

Some more of likely interest here.

In my introductory psych class, I remember learning about enriched/impoverished environments and chimps (would, I presume, would be more applicable than rats). Am I remembering incorrectly?

Thank-you very much for the links :slight_smile: I’m finding the reading is a bit heavier than I can digest at 5:30 am -especially the last one - so I’ll have to try reading them again after my eyes have managed to convince my brain that I’m awake.

Looks like pretty much what I was after though.