Learn How to Become Rich with Poverty Proof: 50 ways to train your brain for wealth
The adaptability of stress physiology in response to experience is referred to as allostasis or biased homeostasis.1 Allostasis refers to the adjustment of resting levels of stress response physiology in response to experience. Unlike homeostatic systems that must maintain functioning within a relatively narrow band around a given set point to support the optimal functioning of the organism (eg, body temperature around 98.6F), stress response systems are allostatic, able to adaptively adjust set points and ranges in response to experience as needed. In this process of allostatic adjustment, the brain plays the key mediating role as it is shaped by experience to adjust physiologic systems to meet an expected future.2 The process of the interactive adjustment of biological development by experience is referred to as experiential canalization.3 As applied to self-regulation development,4 experiential canalization refers to the way in which experience shapes stress response physiology in ways that promote behaviors appropriate for the context in which development is occurring. In the context of poverty, in which resources are scarce and the future unpredictable, stress physiology is hypothesized to shape brain development in ways that promote fast reactive and automatic responses to stimulation. In contrast, in high-resource, supportive environments, experience is hypothesized to shape brain development in ways that promote executive function and the intentional, thoughtful regulation of behavior.