In response to a question about whether enriched environments have been shown to produce changes in the brain, Teicher said that not much research has been done to investigate this effect in humans. Funding agencies are more likely to support research on disorders than wellbeing. “That may not be a good priority, but that is the way things go currently.”
Leventhal asked about the neurobiological effects of children who experience abuse at very young ages. Teicher said his research excluded any research subject who had injuries above the shoulder, but abuse below the head produces volumetric changes in prefrontal regions and alterations in the dopamine system, which is related to drug abuse, along with changes in the cerebellum and cortical pain pathways. “There is a whole panoply of things that go with physical abuse,” he said.