Developmental Psychobiology

Developmental Psychobiology

An Interdisciplinary Science

By George F. Michel and Celia L. Moore

A Bradford Book





This text is the first to provide a coherent theoretical treatment of the flourishing new field of developmental psychobiology which has arisen in recent years on the crest of exciting advances in evolutionary biology, developmental neuroscience, and dynamic systems theory.

Michel and Moore, two of the field's key pioneers and researchers, integrate primary source information from research in both biological and psychological disciplines in a clear account of the frontier of biopsychological investigation and theorizing.

Explicitly conceptual and historical, the first three chapters set the stage for a clear understanding of the field and its research, with particular attention to the nature-nurture question. The next three chapters each provide information about a basic subfield in biology (genetics, evolution, embryology) that is particularly relevant for developmental studies of behavior. These are followed by extended treatments of three spheres of inquiry (behavioral embryology, cognitive neuroscience, animal behavior) in terms of how a successful interdisciplinary approach to behavioral development might look. A final chapter comments on some of the unique aspects of development study.

From this detailed and clearly organized text, students will achieve a firm grasp of some of science's most fertile questions about the relation between evolution and development, the relation between brain and cognitive development, the value of a natural history approach to animal behavior—and what it teaches us about humans—and much more. Each chapter contains material that questions the conventional wisdom held in many subdisciplines of biology and psychology. Throughout, the text challenges students to think creatively as it thoroughly grounds them in the field's approach to such topics as behavioral-genetic analysis, the concept of innateness, molecular genetics and development, neuroembryology, behavioral embryology, maturation, cognition, and ethology.

A Bradford Book


$17.75 X ISBN: 9780262133128 532 pp. | 8.3 in x 10.1 in


  • This is an outstanding textbook in developmental psychobiology that captures the excitement of this expanding field of study. The theoretical, conceptual, and empirical scope of the individual chapters and of the volume as a whole is extraordinary. The authors tackle many difficult topics, such as genetics and development, and development and evolution, levels of organization, reductionism, and many methodological issues, clearly using evidence from animal behavior and human development.

    Jay S. Rosenblatt

    Daniel S. Lehrman Professor of Psychobiology, Institute of Animal Behavior, Behavioral and Neural Sciences Program, Rutgers University-Newark Campus

  • I have read Professors Michel and Moore's book with great interest and enthusiasm. This is a work of broad-ranging scholarship and promises to be a widely read and influential text.

    Gilbert Gottlieb

    Research Professor of Psychology, Center for Developmental Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Michel and Moore have accomplished a major expansion and enhancement of their earlier, fine exposition on the biological bases of development. This new book is quite heroic in scope, and impressive in depth. It is a view of developmental psychobiology in its various manifestations, comparative lessons (from flies to the family of man), evolutionary implications, and multi-leveled (neurons to cognition) integration. Developmental psychobiology is coming of age. This book formalizes the scope and shape of the discipline.

    Jeffrey R. Alberts

    Professor of Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington

  • George Michel and Celia Moore cover the area where biology and psychology contribute to the understanding of how behavior develops in the individual. Their excellent book fills a hitherto empty niche at a good moment in the coming together of an important subject. I wish that I had written it.

    Patrick Bateson

    Professor of Ethology, University of Cambridge