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HHS HealthBeat (March 14, 2012)

Nurturing the brain


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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

The hippocampus section of our brains is important for memory, learning and stress hormones. New research on 7- to 10-year-olds shows a direct connection between parental nurturing and growth of the hippocampus. Children and parents were videotaped during mildly stressful tasks that required support.

Joan Luby is a professor of psychiatry at Washington University.

“We should be paying more attention to parental nurturance. It validates something that I think is intuitive that we’ve known throughout history, that just how important nurturing parenting is to create adaptive human beings.” (14 seconds)

The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science Early Edition was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at hhs.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: March 14, 2012