Press Esc to close
Saturday 30 May 2015
News updated at 2:58 AM IST
Weather
Max: 32.4°C
Min : 22.3°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Arguments at home may affect brain functioning of babies

Washington, Mar 26, 2013, PTI:

Parents, please note! Being exposed to arguments between parents may influence the way babies’ brains process emotion and stress, a new study has found.

The study, conducted by University of Oregon, found that infants respond to angry tone of voice, even when they’re asleep. Babies’ brains are highly plastic, allowing them to develop in response to the environments and encounters they experience. But this plasticity comes with a certain degree of vulnerability - research has shown that severe stress, such as maltreatment or institutionalisation, can have a significant, negative impact on child development.

Researcher Alice Graham with her advisors Phil Fisher and Jennifer Pfeifer wondered about what the impact of more moderate stressors might be.

“We were interested in whether a common source of early stress in children’s lives - conflict between parents - is associated with how infants’ brains function,” said Graham.

Graham and colleagues decided to take advantage of recent developments in MRI scanning to answer this question. Twenty infants, ranging in age from 6 to 12 months, came into the lab at their regular bedtime.

While they were asleep in the scanner, the infants were presented with nonsense sentences spoken in very angry, mildly angry, happy, and neutral tones of voice by a male adult. “Even during sleep, infants showed distinct patterns of brain activity depending on the emotional tone of voice we presented,” said Graham.

The researchers found that infants from high conflict homes showed greater reactivity to very angry tone of voice in brain areas linked to stress and emotion regulation, such as the anterior cingulate cortex, caudate, thalamus, and hypothalamus.

Previous research with animals has shown that these brain areas play an important role in the impact of early life stress on development - the results of this new study suggest that the same might be true for human infants.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha poses next to the newly launched BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe...

Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha poses next to the newly launched BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe...

Foreigners dance during Millionaire Bhanwar Lal Doshi's Diksha ceremony for becoming a Jain monk...

Foreigners dance during Millionaire Bhanwar Lal Doshi's Diksha ceremony for becoming a Jain monk...

A man takes a nap inside a car on a hot summer day in Ahmadabad...

A man takes a nap inside a car on a hot summer day in Ahmadabad...

A shepherd going with sheep to the next village near Jaliya Village in Beawar, Rajasthan...

A shepherd going with sheep to the next village near Jaliya Village in Beawar, Rajasthan...

Monsoon clouds hover over the Mumbai skyline near Marine Drive sea-face side on Friday...

Monsoon clouds hover over the Mumbai skyline near Marine Drive sea-face side on Friday...

An Indian child plays in front of a water sprinkler to cool off on a hot summer day...

An Indian child plays in front of a water sprinkler to cool off on a hot summer day...

Martina Hingis of Switzerland returns the ball as she plays with Sania Mirza...

Martina Hingis of Switzerland returns the ball as she plays with Sania Mirza...

Police detain National Students' Union of India (NSUI) activists during a protest...

Police detain National Students' Union of India (NSUI) activists during a protest...

Waleed Iqbal of Pakistan (Grandson of Muhammad Iqbal)...

Waleed Iqbal of Pakistan (Grandson of Muhammad Iqbal)...

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah eating mango after inaugurating Mango Jackfruit festival...

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah eating mango after inaugurating Mango Jackfruit festival...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523