Ross Thompson

Recent Articles

Shaping the Brains of Tomorrow

What would happen if the best minds in the country concluded that investments in early-childhood development are necessary and cost-effective? That the early years present an opportunity, unequaled later in life, to enhance inborn potential and avert harm? What if they could identify the “active ingredients” of healthy psychological development, and how to enhance these in young children growing up in deprived conditions? Wouldn't society become mobilized to do its best for young children? We are in this situation today, and the arguments for investing in early-childhood development are scientific, not political. As the result of several blue-ribbon studies of the forces shaping young children's growth, developmental scientists today agree on some basic conclusions: The early years are important. Early relationships matter. All children are born ready to learn, both intellectually and socially. Even in infancy, children are active participants in their own development, together with...