Feral Children & Harlow's Monkeys: Psychological Experiments

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In the middle of the twentieth century, Harry and Margaret Harlow began to study the effects of body contact in terms of developmental attachment. Their breakthrough experiments involved infant monkeys separated from their mother near birth and raised in cages with two surrogate mothers: one a wire cylinder and the other wrapped in terry cloth. After varying such details as location of the feeding bottle, rocking, and warmth, the Harlows were startled to find that the monkeys bonded much more closely to the cloth mother, regardless of whether or not "she" provided the food. (Myers, 2011, pp. 149-151). In parallel to Harlow's monkeys was Victor, found in the forests of France in 1800, when he became the first feral child to be successfully restored to society as well as scientifically studied by Parisian doctor Jean Marc Itard. Followed by children of many ages hailing from the abandoned flats of the Ukraine to the urbanized and bustling streets of Los Angeles, CA, feral children were defined by their lack of human care, usually because of abusive or irresponsible parents. Such isolation from their own society often resulted in resorting to animals, especially dogs, for love and warmth, and to wild, abnormal behavior. None were able to completely and certainly bounce back from their cruel circumstances, a fact shown in their lack of humanity, as Itard defined it, in one of two areas: emotional empathy or liguistic communication. ("Wild Child The Story Of Feral Children

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