Brain Insights places a great amount of focus on the critical impact early relationships have on the developing brain. Due an emphasis to create this essential understanding, I can not be more trilled to share exciting research findings with you.
This important research was posted in Neuron News in 2012, but I just became aware of it today. Of course, I wanted to share it with you immediately.
This can be so reassuring for caring parents! These findings can also be inspiring to those wanting additional evidence that there is a critical need to place greater emphasis on this area and time of development.
Below is the beginning portion of the article:
School-age children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory and response to stress.
The new research, by child psychiatrists and neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is the first to show that changes in this critical region of children’s brain anatomy are linked to a mother’s nurturing.
Their research is published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.
“This study validates something that seems to be intuitive, which is just how important nurturing parents are to creating adaptive human beings,” says lead author Joan L. Luby, MD, professor of child psychiatry. “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.” (Read more)
This article also complements and supports the focus I shared in the February, Brain Insights Newsletter:
Loving Our Children!
One of the primary reasons I started Brain Insights was to create a realization of the impact loving interaction has on the developing brain. My intent has been to help develop a greater awareness of the need for and positive effects of attachment.
Anyone that has heard me present knows how I emphasize this essential aspect of optimal brain development. As I often point out, it not only affects social/emotional development, behavior, and relationships, it also impacts cognitive development. This wonderful video clip of the still face experiment clearly illustrates the need for a secure connection.
Through consistent and loving interactions, valuable connections are physically made in the baby's brain. The feeling of security and predictability that the child learns through these interactions leads to an emotionally healthy child ready for relationships and learning.
Recently it has become apparent that there continues to be both a lack of knowledge and understanding about the need for secure attachment, as well as confusion about what attachment is. Additionally, there are numerous children hurting and exhibiting "out of control behaviors" as a result of insecure attachment. So parents and educators are looking for help and information.
This issue is therefore entirely focused on attachment.
It is my hope that through these resources, you will either find ways to directly help children in your life or use the information to help promote the much needed understanding. It truly makes a dramatic and long lasting difference!
Filled with hope,
Let's each do ALL we can to make sure this information is used and shared EVERYWHERE.
We need to do everything possible to ensure every child has the nurturing relationship they deserve!
EVERY child deserves to develop their brain to their fullest potential and it begins with love!
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