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The Neurobiology of Humanity’s Evolved Developmental Niche: Insights, Puzzles and Promises

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Humanity’s evolved developmental niche (EDN; a.k.a., evolved nest) is the set of common child raising practices documented among hunter gatherer bands all over the world. The EDN degraded over the course of civilization, especially recently. Does it matter? Apparently so. The EDN’s importance for neurobiological development of multiple body/brain systems and longterm wellbeing have been uncovered by neurobiological, developmental and clinical sciences. I discuss the components of the EDN, their effects on child development and adult wellbeing and morality, and their possible implications for human and planetary futures.

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