Echoes of early life: Recent insights from mathematical modeling
SourceChild Development, 89, 5, (2018), pp. 1504-1518
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI ON
In the last decades, developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) has emerged as a central framework for studying early-life effects, that is, the impact of fetal and early postnatal experience on adult functioning. Apace with empirical progress, theoreticians have built mathematical models that provide novel insights for DOHaD. This article focuses on three of these insights, which show the power of environmental noise (i.e., imperfect indicators of current and future conditions) in shaping development. Such noise can produce: (a) detrimental outcomes even in ontogenetically stable environments, (b) individual differences in sensitive periods, and (c) early-life effects tailored to predicted future somatic states. We argue that these insights extend DOHaD and offer new research directions.
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