AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


Nurturing During Preschool Years Boosts Child's Brain Growth

Mother’s support linked to robust growth of brain area involved in learning, memory stress response

The region of the brain that is critical for learning, memory and regulating emotions, the hippocampus, was studied by researchers to determine if children who had nurturing mother during their preschool years have more growth associated with learning, memory and stress response. These researchers found that areas of the hippocampus had a sharper rise in volume in children who had the support. In contrast, those who lacked maternal support during these years had a hippocampus that appeared smaller even if their mothers became more supportive in the later years of education. “The parent-child relationship during the preschool period is vital, even more important than when the child gets older,” Luby said. “We think that’s due to great plasticity in the brain when kids are younger, meaning that the brain is affected more by experiences very early in life. That suggests it’s vital that kids receive support and nurturing during those early years.” To read more on this study, click here

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