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March, 2002
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Current advances in the developmental and neurobiological sciences are now being integrated into complex models of the development of self, and therefore personality. The human brain growth spurt, which begins in the last quarter of pregnancy and extends into the second year, overlaps the prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal periods. It also represents the early critical period for the experience-dependent maturation of the right hemisphere, which is dominant for processing socioemotional and bodily information, stress coping functions, and self-regulation. Interactively regulated psychobiological transactions between the infant and primary caregiver, embedded in the attachment relationship, are thus essential for the optimal development of self-regulatory functions and the organization of a personality with resilient coping functions.


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