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Love is not just a romantic feeling that just makes us feel good. It's not just an adrenaline 'rush'. It is a necessity. It is more: it is a food.
Science has finally been able to show why the affection and bond of a child is so important in their first months of life, just at that moment when the brain is in full expansion, just at the moment when the baby it absorbs like a sponge everything it receives from its environment. Amazing the MRI of the brain of two different children: one of them received love and security. The other does not. Guess which one? Pay attention to this image that shows what happens in the baby's brain when it does not receive affectionor.
In the image of this scanner, carried out for a study by neurologists from the University of California (UCLA) a few years ago, you see how one of the children has a bigger brain. The other, however, is smaller, and there are also dark spots.
The two children are the same age (3 years) and both are physically healthy. But there is a difference between them: The child with the largest brain, the one on the left, received love and security during the first months of life. He grew up in a stable and safe environment, surrounded by people who forged a bond with him and encouraged him through love. The boy in the image on the right, however, grew up in an unstructured family. He did not receive enough emotional attention or affection. He did not establish a strong bond with his parents. The result?
- The brain when the child receives affection: It is a healthy brain, capable of taking advantage of all stimuli and learning. This child when he grows up will be able to establish social relationships with others, empathize and also will be more intelligent.
- The brain when the child does not receive enough affection: The child is not able to establish the necessary connections to develop social relationships in the future. You will have trouble recognizing and using your emotions correctly. You will not be able to develop your full intelligence capacity. It will cost you more to learn and process new knowledge. You will be more prone to dependency and addiction.
The truth is that neurologists themselves were shocked by the conclusions of this study: the reason for the abysmal difference between the two brains was not a disease, but the lack of care and affection in childhood. Children who do not receive the necessary attention in the first months of life cannot develop their brain correctly. Their learning is slower and they will have many more affective and emotional problems than adults. What's more, neurologist Allan Schore highlights something essential: neurons grow in the first months of life depending on the baby's interaction with his mother or the person who cares for him. The brain will react in one way or another depending on this relationship. And it will grow in one way or another depending on the care it receives.
What is the most crucial stage in brain development? According to the neurologists who participated in this study, it's the first two years of life. What's more, it is estimated that 80% of brain cells are formed during those first two years of life. These will determine what the child's brain will be like. Their conclusions, although somewhat controversial, come to say the following:
- Children who do not receive enough love and attention in their first two years of life, they will be less intelligent than those who do receive that attention and encouragement.
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