Press Esc to close
Tuesday 25 April 2017
News updated at 2:24 AM IST

Arguments at home may affect brain functioning of babies

Washington, Mar 26, 2013, PTI: 22:08 IST
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
Injured CRPF being brought to Raipur for treatment on Monday follwing a Maoist attack at Burkapal ..

Injured CRPF being brought to Raipur for treatment on Monday follwing a Maoist attack at Burkapal ..

Police in action students who were throwing brick bats on them during clashes in the vicinity of ...

Police in action students who were throwing brick bats on them during clashes in the vicinity of ...

LJP activists take part in a candle light vigil to pray for CRPF jawans lost their lives in a ...

LJP activists take part in a candle light vigil to pray for CRPF jawans lost their lives in a ...

Remains of the iconic Hall of Nations structure at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on Monday...

Remains of the iconic Hall of Nations structure at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on Monday...

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar being greeted by his fans on his 44th birthday at his residence in Mumbai

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar being greeted by his fans on his 44th birthday at his residence in Mumbai

Girl students pelt stones at security personnel during clashes in the vicinity of Lal Chowk in ...

Girl students pelt stones at security personnel during clashes in the vicinity of Lal Chowk in ...

College girls shout slogans at a protest against the recent police action on students, in Srinagar..

College girls shout slogans at a protest against the recent police action on students, in Srinagar..

Potato farmers holding a protest over their various demands including proper cold storage ...

Potato farmers holding a protest over their various demands including proper cold storage ...

A man holds his head in despair after grains got drenched in rains at a market in Bikaner on ...

A man holds his head in despair after grains got drenched in rains at a market in Bikaner on ...

Woakes jubiliate with his teammates after the dismissal of Stuart Binny

Woakes jubiliate with his teammates after the dismissal of Stuart Binny

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.