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The Science of Well-Being$
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Felicia A. Huppert, Nick Baylis, and Barry Keverne

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567523

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567523.001.0001

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* Understanding well-being in the evolutionary context of brain development

* Understanding well-being in the evolutionary context of brain development

(p.34) (p.35) Chapter 2* Understanding well-being in the evolutionary context of brain development
The Science of Well-Being

Eric B. Keverne

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the idea that early life events may create certain predispositions that impact on a person's well-being later on in life. The implications of an extended postnatal development period for brain maturation is also discussed, coupled with the linkages between brain evolution and specific biological changes and predispositions which, combined with the effects of a modern lifestyle, represent risk factors for a person's well-being. A section is devoted to the significance of maternal bonding to a child's stress-coping mechanisms until early childhood. Studies presented on brain development during puberty reveal that a child's cortical grey matter or neural cell bodies peak at puberty, that the prefrontal cortex's development affects decision-making abilities. Drug use and abuse also have subverting effects on a person's brain mechanisms. An understanding of these variables may help parents facilitate the development of self-esteem and security in their children, to help them become well-adjusted adults.

Keywords:   predispositions, well-being, postnatal development, maternal bonding, gray matter, drug use, brain

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