ERIC Number: EJ886839
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Perceived Quality of Maternal Care in Childhood and Structure and Function of Mothers' Brain
Kim, Pilyoung; Leckman, James F.; Mayes, Linda C.; Newman, Michal-Ann; Feldman, Ruth; Swain, James E.
Developmental Science, v13 n4 p662-673 Jul 2010
Animal studies indicate that early maternal care has long-term effects on brain areas related to social attachment and parenting, whereas neglectful mothering is linked with heightened stress reactivity in the hippocampus across the lifespan. The present study explores the possibility, using magnetic resonance imaging, that perceived quality of maternal care in childhood is associated with brain structure and functional responses to salient infant stimuli among human mothers in the first postpartum month. Mothers who reported higher maternal care in childhood showed larger grey matter volumes in the superior and middle frontal gyri, orbital gyrus, superior temporal gyrus and fusiform gyrus. In response to infant cries, these mothers exhibited higher activations in the middle frontal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus and fusiform gyrus, whereas mothers reporting lower maternal care showed increased hippocampal activations. These findings suggest that maternal care in childhood may be associated with anatomy and functions in brain regions implicated in appropriate responsivity to infant stimuli in human mothers.
Descriptors: Stimuli, Mothers, Crying, Infants, Anatomy, Brain, Child Rearing, Diagnostic Tests, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Parenting Styles, Child Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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