This volume is based on a symposium of the same title held in San Francisco at the 1974 meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The half-day session was sponsored jointly by the Society for Research in Child Development and the Section on Psychology of the AAAS. I served as chairman of the session and then as discussant.
The field of developmental psychobiology acknowledges that a union of the sciences of biology and psychology is essential for a better understanding of the wondrous ways in which experience interacts with congenital factors to produce growth, development, or change. The contributors to this volume are all committed to such an interactionist orientation with respect to both the origins of infant behavior and the role of infancy in the determination of later development.
The symposium participants did not make their oral presentations, or engage in discussion with their fellow panel members, with a view toward publication of the proceedings. However, it became apparent at the time of the symposium that there was a great deal of interest in the topic of developmental psychobiology and that there was not enough time to engage in as much cross-communication among the panelists as we all wanted. Members of the audience also voiced their frustration, on termination of the three-hour session, that the panelists had too little opportunity to question and to respond to one another. Although it has not been possible to incorporate audience participation and panel responses, except to take that interchange into consideration in the preparation of our contributions to this volume, the major presentations were followed by lively queries from the audience.