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  • 2/12/2012

Mother's affection boosts child's brain development

mother and child

Children whose mothers show more love and affection from early days develop brains with a larger hippocampus, a key region in learning and stress response.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis studied 92 mothers and their preschool children.

During the first phase which included an experiment called “the waiting task”‌ the children were given a present and asked to wait eight minutes before unwrapping it. Scientists filmed each mother and child to evaluate the level of support provided by the mother.

When the studied children turned the age of 7 and 13, scientists studied their brain development by carrying out brain scans and comparing the images.

Results showed that the kids whose mothers provided the most support to reduce their stress during the earlier task had larger hippocampus, says the article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

“The importance of this effect is underscored by the fact the hippocampus is a brain region central to memory, emotion regulation and stress modulation, all areas key to healthy social adaptation.,”‌ said senior researcher Professor Joan Luby.

“This study validates something that seems to be intuitive, which is just how important nurturing parents are to creating adaptive human beings,”‌ Luby added.

“I think the public health implications suggest that we should pay more attention to parents' nurturing, and we should do what we can as a society to foster these skills because clearly nurturing has a very, very big impact on later development.”‌

Source: presstv.com

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