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Hi Lacie,
A journal article was recently published called "Early Adversity and Critical Periods: Neurodevelopmental Consequences of Violating the Expectable Environment."  Here's the abstract:

It is now widely recognized that children exposed to adverse life events in the
first years of life are at increased risk for a variety of neural, behavioral, and
psychological sequelae. As we discuss in this paper, adverse events represent
a violation of the expectable environment. If such violations occur during a critical
period of brain development, the detrimental effects of early adversity are
likely to be long lasting. Here we discuss the various ways adversity becomes
neurobiologically embedded, and how the timing of such adversity plays an
important role in determining outcomes. We conclude our paper by offering
recommendations for how to elucidate the neural mechanisms responsible for
the behavioral sequelae and how best to model the effects of early adversity.

I think this paper directly addresses your question from a theoretical perspective.  If you don't have access to the full paper, you can email me at info at suziegruber dot com and I can send it to you.

--Suzie

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