Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

Serve and Return: Supporting the Foundation

Serve and Return: Supporting the Foundation

What is "serve and return"? What does it mean to have a "responsive relationship" with a child? How do responsive relationships support healthy brain development? And what can parents and caregivers do in their day-to-day lives to build these sorts of relationships? This episode of The Brain Architects podcast addresses all these questions and more! Contents Podcast Panelists Additional Resources Transcript Fortunately, there are many quick, easy, and free ways to create responsive relationships with children of any age. To kick off this episode, Center Director Dr. Jack Shonkoff describes the science behind how these interactions—known as "serve and return"—work. This is followed by a discussion among a panel of scientists and practitioners including Dr. Phil Fisher, the Philip H. Knight Chair and Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon, and director of the Center for Translational Neuroscience; Patricia Marinho, founder and CEO of Tempojunto and co-founder of Programa BEM; and Sarah Ryan, director of Life Skills at Julie's Family Learning Program. The panelists discuss what it looks like to serve and return with children on a daily basis, and how to encourage these interactions. Panelists Dr. Phil Fisher Patricia Marinho Sarah Ryan Additional Resources Resources from the Center on the Developing Child Working Paper 1: Young Children Develop in an Environment of Relationships Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry 5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve and Return How-to Video: 5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve and Return Play in Early Childhood: The Role of Play in Any Setting Building Babies’ Brains Through Play: Mini Parenting Master Class FIND: Filming Interactions to Nurture Development Articles Beecher, Michael D. & Burt, John M. (2004). The role of social interaction in bird song learning. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(6), 224-228. Kok, R., Thijssen, S., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. et al. (2015). Normal variation in early parental sensitivity predicts child structural brain development. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(10), 824–831. Kuhl, P.K., Ramírez, R.R., Bosseler, A., Lin, J.L. & Imada, T. (2014). Infants’ brain responses to speech suggest analysis by synthesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111(31), 11238-11245. Levy, J., Goldstein, A. & Feldman, R. (2019). The neural development of empathy is sensitive to caregiving and early trauma. Nature Communications, 10, 1905. Marler, Peter (1970). Birdsong and speech development: Could there be parallels?. American Scientist, 58(6), 669-673. Ramírez-Esparza, N., García-Sierra, A. & Kuhl, P.K. (2014). Look who’s talking: Speech style and social context in language input to infants is linked to concurrent and future speech development. In press: Developmental Science, 17(6), 880-91. Rifkin-Graboi, A., Kong, L., Sim, L.W. et al. (2015). Maternal sensitivity, infant limbic structure volume and functional connectivity: A preliminary study. Translational Psychiatry, 5, e668. Romeo, R.R., Leonard, J.A., Robinson, S.T., et al. (2018). Beyond the 30-million-word gap: Children’s conversational exposure is associated with language-related brain function. Psychological Science, 29(5), 700-710. Sethna, V., Pote, I., Wang, S. et al. (2017). Mother–infant interactions and regional brain volumes in infancy: An MRI study. Brain Structure and Function, 222, 2379–2388. Yu, C. & Smith, L.B. (2013). Joint attention without gaze following: Human infants and their parents coordinate visual attention to objects through eye-hand coordination. PLoS One, 8(11), e79659. Resources from Our Panelists Dr. Phil Fisher The FIND Program Patricia Marinho Tempojunto (in Portuguese) Progama BEM (video in Portuguese with English subtitles) Transcript Sally: Welcome to The Brain Architects,

Duration: 27 min

Release Date:

Share part or all of the audio of this episode