Neural Correlates of Imprinting
The term imprinting, derived from Oskar Heinroth and Konrad Lorenz, defines rapid learning events with remarkably stable and long-lasting behavioral outcomes, which occur during specific time windows or sensitive periods in newborn and juvenile vertebrates. The term imprinting is used not only by ethologists, but also in more recent literature by psychologists and clinicians in a broader sense, implying a particular aetiology of adult behaviors in both animals and human beings. Darwin, who showed great interest in child development, including infancy learning, was one of the first scientists who tried to link child psychology and animal behavior. He thereby prepared the ground for the study of the interplay of instinct and early learning, soon to be taken up by Spalding, and later, in different ways, by both Freud and the ethologists. D. A. Spalding published in 1873 a paper entitled "Instinct, with Original Observations on Young Animals,"