FPR Workshop on Trauma and Early Relational Experiences, Social Contexts, and Developmental Trajectories

The Lodge at Torrey Pines
La Jolla, California
October 9-12, 2003

FPR’s third workshop, “Relational Experiences, Social Contexts, and Developmental Trajectories,” was held on October 9–12, 2003, in La Jolla, California. Participants included anthropologists, historians, neurobiologists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. The purpose of the meeting was to plan for the second FPR-UCLA interdisciplinary conference, “Four Dimensions of Childhood: Brain, Mind, Culture, and Time”, (February 11–13, 2005), which examined biological, clinical, and cultural approaches to understanding early life, or formative, experiences.

The workshops participants considered how and to what extent behavior is affected by developmental psychobiological processes, social contexts, and cultural meaning. The workshop opened with presentations from three researchers: developmental psychobiologist Stephen Suomi, child psychologist Alicia Lieberman, and anthropologist Melvin Konner. The three presentations provided overviews of the neurobiological, ethological, clinical, and cultural perspectives on early relationships and social behavior. Intra- and interdisciplinary panels followed. Participants also discussed some of the more general complex philosophical and methodological issues involved in attempting to integrate social, cultural, clinical, and neuroscientific levels of analysis.

A multi-authored volume based on the 2003 workshop and the 2005 conference is forthcoming from Cambridge. The volume, entitled Formative Experiences: The Interaction of Caretaking, Culture, and Developmental Psychobiology, is edited by anthropologist Carol M. Worthman, developmental psychobiologist Paul Plotsky, child psychiatrist Daniel Schechter, and FPR project director Constance Cummings. The workshop, conference, and forthcoming volume emphasize interactions among scientists and practitioners around particular case studies. The diversity of contexts, observations, and perspectives – contributes to a vastly richer understanding of early life experience and its defining moments.

List of Participants

Mahar Agusno (Gadjah Mada University)
Eileen Anderson-Fye (Case Western Reserve University, UCLA)
Mark Barad (UCLA)
Joel T. Braslow (UCLA)
Carole Browner (UCLA, FPR)
Marie-Françoise Chesselet (UCLA, FPR)
Alan Page Fiske (UCLA)
Darlene Francis (UCLA)
Patricia Greenfield (UCLA)
Janet Hadda (UCLA)
Douglas Hollan (UCLA, FPR)
Portia Iversen (Cure Autism Now)
Marjorie Kagawa-Singer (UCLA, FPR)
Marvin Karno (UCLA Emeritus, FPR)
Laurence Kirmayer (McGill University)
Melvin Konner (Emory University)
Robert Lemelson (UCLA, FPR)
Robert LeVine (Harvard University Emeritus)
Alicia Lieberman (UC San Francisco)
Steven Lopez (USC, FPR)
Emeran Mayer (UCLA)
Robert Pynoos (UCLA)
Naomi Quinn (Duke University)
Beate Ritz (UCLA, FPR)
Daniel Siegel (UCLA)
Stephen Suomi (NICHD)
Allan J. Tobin (UCLA Emeritus, CHDI Management)
Thomas Weisner (UCLA)
Barbara Yngvesson (Hampshire College)