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Brain Scans Show the Impact of Neglect On a Child's Brain Size

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the cloth-mom-vs-wire-mom dept.

Science 206

An anonymous reader writes "A shocking comparison of brain scans from two three-year-old children reveals new evidence of the remarkable impact a mother's love has on a child's brain development. The chilling images reveal that the left brain, which belongs to a normal 3-year-old, is significantly larger and contains fewer spots and dark 'fuzzy' areas than the right brain, which belongs to that of a 3-year-old who has suffered extreme neglect. Neurologists say that the latest images provide more evidence that the way children are treated in their early years is important not only for the child's emotional development, but also in determining the size of their brains. Experts say that the sizeable difference in the two brains is primarily caused by the difference in the way each child was treated by their mothers."

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Jesus Tap Fucking Zombie Christ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41810873)

That fucking auto playing chili's ad can go fuck itself.

What about teh gayz?! (0, Flamebait)

stomv (80392) | about 2 years ago | (#41810881)

Does this mean that children raised by gay men are more likely to wear dunce caps and children raised by lesbians could have super brains?

Re:What about teh gayz?! (-1, Troll)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#41811115)

You know, in order for one of the parent to be a mother, the other one must be the father....With gay couple, i wonder who is the father (biological) and who is mother (biological)?

Re:What about teh gayz?! (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#41811289)

As long as at least one is nurturing and attentive in the formative years, wich one is doing it or their gender does not really matter.

Re:What about teh gayz?! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811407)

You are wrong, sir - Only a lactating woman can breast-feed. By "bonding," they not only mean the emotional bond from the titty-suckin', but the chemical benefits that only real breast milk (and not formula) can provide.

I surmise that the Slashdot males are social retards because of the lack of cerebral development caused by being too timid to latch on to the breast (an inborn fear of bonding with women that apparently follows them for life) and so chose the vastly-inferior formula-feed, or their Christian mommies deprived them of the breast for being the uptight shrews they are.

Either way, tit milk...that's the key to this whole article. Read between the shallow lines in your brains.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:What about teh gayz?! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41812375)

You are wrong, sir - Only a lactating woman can breast-feed.

Not true. Men can also breast feed. Rare, but it does happen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_lactation

Re:What about teh gayz?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811475)

[citation required]

Re:What about teh gayz?! (0)

pclminion (145572) | about 2 years ago | (#41812387)

As long as at least one is nurturing and attentive in the formative years, wich one is doing it or their gender does not really matter.

Other than your desire for this to be the case, what evidence do you have that it doesn't matter?

Re:What about teh gayz?! (5, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | about 2 years ago | (#41811543)

Sorry, is this Slashdot, or Yahoo! Answers? I think I'm lost.

Any other variables..? (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#41810899)

Were both children same sex, race....other variables with genetic implications?

Re:Any other variables..? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811041)

Exactly. How big a role has NUTRITION played in the two images? It would stand to reason that a 'severely neglected' child would also eat lower quality food.
So let's skip the "lovey dovey" story for a moment and make sure we're not drawing the wrong conclusions here.

Re:Any other variables..? (5, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41811363)

Forget nutrition; with n=1, even random variation (i.e. something other than parents' gene pool, nutrition, or parenting) could account for it. The article mentions a study from UCLA, so probably there's more behind this than is included in the (very lame) article.

Doing controlled studies of the effects of parental neglect in humans would require a horribly un-ethical study, but the findings in controlled studies of rats and monkeys [sciencedirect.com] have been consistent. Leaving your baby stuck in a crib all day until it forgets how to cry for help is not something you want to do.

Re:Any other variables..? (2)

MangoCats (2757129) | about 2 years ago | (#41811839)

Anybody with "research access" to an MRI (and especially fMRI) feels justified publishing findings of n=1 studies because their tool is so rare and unique.
Newsflash: every strip mall in America has an MRI, and most hospitals have 3T these days, get over yourselves and go back to doing real science. n=1 is for birdwatchers, not developmental physiology.

Re:Any other variables..? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811887)

Also unethical in rats and monkeys

Re:Any other variables..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41812139)

How come depriving rats and monkeys of their natural forming familiar bonds is not horribly unethical?

Re:Any other variables..? (4, Insightful)

McGruber (1417641) | about 2 years ago | (#41811423)

Exactly. How big a role has NUTRITION played in the two images? It would stand to reason that a 'severely neglected' child would also eat lower quality food.

No offense, AC, but your viewing "NUTRITION" and mothering as being two different things makes it obvious that you have never parented a young child.

FYI, a newborn requires feeding every 3 hours, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the first two months of their life. After about 8 or 9 weeks, if you are lucky, your child will (hopefully!) sleep for 5 to 6 hours at a time, so Mom can finally start getting more than 3 hours of sleep then. Furthermore, the experts also say that mom's breast milk is more nutritious than purchased formula and so a young child should be breast fed (by mom) for at least their first 6 months of life.

Be careful! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811539)

FRAUD ALERT! Possibly "Medical Daily" is paying for these stories. My experience is that Medical Daily is not reputable.

Slashdot managers or editors apparently sometimes take money to post stories.

Re:Any other variables..? (3, Informative)

ChumpusRex2003 (726306) | about 2 years ago | (#41811977)

The original research cites a large number studies with large numbers of children (hundreds or thousands). One of the major studies cited looks at different "types" of neglect which they call "global neglect" and "chaotic neglect". These mean multi-modal or single-modal sensory deprivation; e.g. no exposure to speech, or no exposure to physical experiences (for example, not allowed out of bed), no exposure to cognitive stimuli, etc.

The research showed that for "chaotic neglect" (i.e. one aspect of stimulus missing), brain scans were usually normal, or only slightly abnormal (e.g. brain volume reduced). However, for "global neglect" (multiple aspects of stimulus missing), then nearly half the brain scans were abnormal, showing severely reduced brain volume.

Of course, there are other aspects to neglect, not just sensory and intellectual deprivation; but that was not what the image, or the description in the text was about; this review purely (as far as possible in an observational study) looked at the differences between partial and severe sensory/intellectual deprivation.

Re:Any other variables..? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811107)

Look, you are asking for something that does not exist. To get what you are asking for would require a couple hundred Skinner boxes, clones, and a brain dead ethics panel.

Medicine is the art of applying science, and unfortunately, you are going to have to deal with live data which is going to be messy and factors that are going to be subjective. However, evidence based medicine can turn out pretty specify – even outside laboratory conditions.

So stop being snippy.

And, from an antidotal viewpoint, it seems about right. I worked with a couple of neglected kids over the course of 3 years – one which was basically locked in a closet for the first 10 years of his life.

However, the Anonymous Coward does make a interesting point about nutrition. What shocking to me are the size differences of the brain. For me that points to malnutrition (which is not uncommon in these situations) – not just lower quality of food.

Re:Any other variables..? (4, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#41811397)

"Look, you are asking for something that does not exist."

That doesn't make the methodology used valid. There is no shortage of BS hocus pocus in the medical field.

"For me that points to malnutrition (which is not uncommon in these situations) – not just lower quality of food."

You get malnutrition from eating low quality food.

Re:Any other variables..? (3, Insightful)

countach (534280) | about 2 years ago | (#41811143)

Yeah, I'm not saying this study isn't true, but it sounds like a sample size of one, which is pretty meaningless.

Re:Any other variables..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811545)

Agreed, but I'll take it one step farther and say it doesn't even matter.

Study population - TWO.
Even eliminating those factors leaves us with... nothing.

Sample size? (4, Insightful)

wgoodman (1109297) | about 2 years ago | (#41810905)

While I agree in theory with the findings in theory (though I haven't read TFA due to them putting two of the same obnoxious ad with sound on the same page so it plays with an echo) I think a sample size of two children is a bit small to declare any sort of scientific result.

Re:Sample size? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41810967)

2nded

Re:Sample size? (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#41811141)

You mean, we should analyze the whole brain? But, but, then we cannot watch their progress some 10 years later, because, duh, they would be dead!

Re:Sample size? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41811267)

Except that this knowledge is decades old. This isn't the first research like this.

Re:Sample size? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811283)

Oh thank god, someone else brought this up.

A sample size... of two. TWO!

Holy christ, whoever wrote the article clearly has no concept of statistics. Or numbers in general.

Generally speaking, you want a higher sample size than can be counted on one hand.

Re:Sample size? (5, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | about 2 years ago | (#41811343)

Not sure why anybody thought this was news, I remember reading about it in my Pschology 101 textbook. Nearly any mammal (not just humans) deprived of external stimulus when young will end up with a less developed brain than their otherwise normal peers.

This doesn't apply only to babies and toddlers either. There was a study awhile back trying to figure out why certain groups of inner-city teens don't learn in school. As in, they were taught the same material, given the same homework, spent the same amount of time in class. The study controlled for things like truants and habitual trouble-makers. It turned out that all of them were dealing with at least major parental crisis. For example, their parents were severe alcoholics, beat them, sexually abused them, or died recently. When stuff like that happens, the kids' brains switched into survival mode and were then completely incapable of the kind of in-depth learning that normal kids enjoy. Remove the crisis, and the kid can learn at a normal capacity again. (Depending on the extent/length of the trauma.)

Re:Sample size? (-1, Flamebait)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#41811911)

"Not sure why anybody thought this was news, I remember reading about it in my Pschology 101 textbook."

Medicine at least usually qualifies as pseudo-science. There are even some areas where there is real science and applied science happening.

Psychology doesn't even make anything that remotely resembles a serious effort at being a pseudo-science let alone real science. Sure, given the sure number of ridiculous assumptions and assertions in psychology it stands to reason it will hit the mark sometime and this may be the time but lets not pretend it was for the right reasons.

Next you'll bring in some nonsense from a philosophy class!

"I think therefore I am." That is a rather bold assumption even more so if the inverse is implied that things that don't think, aren't.
"It can't just all be me because of the other people." Unless you are imagining the other people.
"The other people have to be real because I don't know what they are thinking." Maybe they aren't thinking anything beyond what they've said? Maybe you prefer to think there are other people so you delude yourself into thinking you don't know their thoughts?

That leap you made in assuming that 'external stimulus', parental crisis, and children in survival mode were all automatically related is the difference between science and psychology. Even if this study proved that nurturing results in dramatic brain size reduction (and with a sample size of two and no controls it doesn't prove or even support much of anything) it hasn't connected the nurturing to external stimulus and if external stimulus were the cause it could hypothetically be replaced with other stimuli. And I'm not sure where the leap to survival mode comes in or if a baby has enough external awareness to enter it or perhaps to ever leave it but there definitely is nothing in this finding to support an idea like that.

My intention isn't so much to harp on your logic. The association you are making may well be valid and there is absolutely nothing wrong with an individual speculating on such topics. I'm more annoyed with this study and maybe with psychology and other ologies that have nothing to do with science.

Re:Sample size? (3)

coliverhb (886806) | about 2 years ago | (#41812277)

"I think therefore I am." That is a rather bold assumption even more so if the inverse is implied that things that don't think, aren't.

I know your trying really hard to perform reductio ad absurdum here - unfortunately you seem to have failed to understand the meaning of 'am' in this context. A little reading; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito_ergo_sum [wikipedia.org]

Please, don't be so arrogant as to think that you've caught descartes by the tail based upon one out-of-context word. (There are many other things that you can argue against with regards to him!) Likewise, don't go bashing philosophy like you know better - smarter men than you have been thinking about these things for thousands of years. There's a reason why philosophy exists, you employ it every day when you decide upon the morality of things and the merits of certain ideas. We LIVE philosophy and, just as a small example, you wouldn't be able to enjoy the freedoms you have now without the philisophical underpinnings which were fleshed out into unalienable rights, now held up by most governments and legal systems throughout the world.

Re:Sample size? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41812319)

We have your name, sooner or later you'll visit us, and we'll have room ready just for you. Don't worry, you'll be smiling for the rest of your life.

Isn't this what you expect to hear? Moron.

Re:Sample size? (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#41812367)

This reminds me of this episode [thisamericanlife.org] of This American Life which mentioned that kids that undergo a lot of stress at home are basically constantly in a "fight or flight" mode and therefore have a lot of trouble actually sitting down and absorbing information.

Brain size also has a negative correlation with .. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41810909)

First posts!

Sexist! (4, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | about 2 years ago | (#41810913)

>"of the remarkable impact a mother's love has on a child's brain development."

Oh, so only a MOTHER'S love could cause that, not a father's or anyone else...

Re:Sexist! (3, Interesting)

ninjaz96 (813861) | about 2 years ago | (#41811049)

I was surprised the father wasn't mentioned at all, I like this message about both parents importance: Facts for Life Global.org [slashdot.org] A father's role is as vital as the mother's in nurturing and caring for their children and protecting their rights. A father should make daughters and sons feel they are equally important. Just like the mother, the father can help meet their child's needs for love, affection, approval, encouragement and stimulation. Together, the mother and father can ensure that the child receives a quality education and good nutrition and health care.

Re:Sexist! (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#41811159)

Words, words, cheap words. In general i agree with you, but man, you need to be more specific.

Re:Sexist! (3)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41811271)

I agree with someone else's tap dancing around the issue. It's anti-gay parents. No men-only couples allowed, as they children will be damaged by lack of a mother.

Also, make sure any splits result in the children go with the mother, as fathers can't love their children the same.

Re:Sexist! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811645)

Just because the world would be better, fairer, more pleasing to you, if a certain thing is true, does not make that thing true. There is noticeable sexual dimorphism in many, many species including primates. Just because we have risen intellectually to the point where we can understand that there ought to be no differences, doesn't make it so. We can strive to equalize our inherent differences, but to deny their very existence outright places you in the same camp as vaccine autism conspiracy theorists, flat earthers and electric universe proponents.

Re:Sexist! (3)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41812361)

What thing is it that you are asserting I would prefer being true? You don't define what you are talking about. And you talk like I'm affirmatively denying something but you don't even mention what I'm denying. Next you'll tell me that this post is denying that I'm denying, despite never having clarified what's being denied.

Re:Sexist! (4, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#41811333)

Together, the mother and father can ensure that the child receives a quality education and good nutrition and health care.

Meh.... 2 fathers and no mothers. a mother and a much older brother. a father and an aunt. a father and an uncle.

The reality isn't a message isn't about a "father and a mother"; its that 'more is better'.

More attention and care from more diverse individuals is better.
Doesn't really matter what the biological relationships or genders are; although its probable that exposure to both genders is ideal - for the inherent diversity that entails. But that could provided by an aunt/uncle or grandparent in a gay couple, or single parent scenario.

Re:Sexist! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811575)

Actually it does matter. Children raised by their biological mother and father tend to fare better than those raised in basically any other family situation, even after controlling for every variable that people who do these kinds of studies for a living can think of. I know that's not very PC, but it's reality.

Re:Sexist! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811843)

Please tell us where one such study is. It could be possible but seems very unlikely.

Re:Sexist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811121)

Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't. Either way, evolution doesn't give a shit about "political correctness." Try to stick to the topic.

Re:Sexist! (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#41811245)

Seconded.

Re:Sexist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811151)

>"of the remarkable impact a mother's love has on a child's brain development."

Oh, so only a MOTHER'S love could cause that, not a father's or anyone else...

Here in the USA the mother is typically the primary care-giver; the father being the primary wealth-provider. Typical being defined as an average household with a mother, father, and 2.5 children.

I know that's really hard for you to believe. I can tell that you feel slighted by the facts presented as they are. However I'm unsure if you're arguing along the lines of one of the other comments: so two dads makes you super dumb and two moms makes you super smart? I dunno, I read the article, but then I read it again before replying to you ( just to make sure there wasn't some hidden "homophobia conspiracy" language I missed).

What's your point, exactly? You just disagree? Well Mark, the internet cares. No really, it does.

Re:Sexist! (2)

markdavis (642305) | about 2 years ago | (#41811717)

My point was exactly what I said. The summary of the article is sexist because it implies that it is only a mother's love that could be the cause. That is, in fact, sexist. Any reasonably intelligent person could infer that really it is the love of SOMEONE that causes the result, not necessarily the mother.

It doesn't matter if it is *usually* the mother, or that it might be the mother in this one particular case, there was no reason it should be worded the way it was. A proper/better wording would be:

"[...]reveals new evidence of the remarkable impact a care giver's love has on a child's brain development"

Re:Sexist! (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41811185)

The article says early intervention and support is essential to preventing these kind I'd disorders. That implies that such support need not be provided by the mother. Nevertheless, if your own mother doesn't care about you, odds are on one else does either. You see a lot more single mothers than single fathers after-all.

Re:Sexist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811227)

like it or not, the first part of baby's life it is probably "bonding" ,or what ever you want to call it, more with the mother than the father

Re:Sexist! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41811243)

I'm sure that in populations where neonates spend substantial amount of times cuddling up and sucking daddy's nipples, similar effects of paternal love might well be noticed... That just doesn't seem to happen very much in primates.

genetics is a factor (4, Insightful)

banbeans (122547) | about 2 years ago | (#41810931)

This would only be valid if it was a comparison of identical twins raised in the different environments.

Re:genetics is a factor (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 2 years ago | (#41811329)

You can easily argue that Epigenetics has put doubt into every twin study ever done.

Re:genetics is a factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811413)

"would only be valid" for identical twins. Really? This study has no value whatsoever? Snarky remarks are pretty fashionable amongst the asocial nerd set, but try to tone down the hyperbole a bit next time, mm'kay?

The autoplay video ads are causing brain damage (1)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | about 2 years ago | (#41810933)

On the other hand, the child with the smaller brain on the right will be more likely to become addicted to drugs, be involved in violent crimes, be unemployed and dependent on government benefits in the future.

Also, really? Phrenology much? This dumps credibility down the toilet pretty quick.

Mr. Burns: Of course you'd say that. You have the brainpan of a stagecoach tilter.

Um... (1)

medcalf (68293) | about 2 years ago | (#41810937)

No one should doubt the necessity and benefits of love to a child, or the harmful effects of neglect. That said, is it just me, or was much of that story eerily reminiscent of phrenology?

Re:Um... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41811119)

Unfortunately, while it comes up for very understandable reasons every time a story about looking at brain structure appears, the spectre of phrenology is really only useful as a cautionary tale about optimism....

Phrenology falls especially flat because it used skull morphology as an (inaccurate) proxy for measurements of the brain that weren't nondestructively available at the time(not that knowledge of brain function was good enough to have made such measurements useful even if available); but it was an early stab at the theory that psychological phenomena, and 'mind' in general, are ultimately dependent on the physical operations of the brain.

That's the nuisance. Phrenology was embarrassingly lousy as an actual scientific theory of anything resembling predictive power(and pop-phrenology was even worse, barely better than horoscopes and speculations about why undesireables look like monkeys); but made an early grab for the only really viable premise in neurology, the idea that mental phenomena are ultimately based on physical activity in the brain.

Unless you are some kind of Cartesian dualist, an Occasionalist, or take monads really seriously, you don't have a whole lot of options other than being a (hopefully much improved) post-phrenologist...

Re:Um... (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41811281)

Unlike phrenology, this is a direct measurement of brain development. Do you dispute that the specific brain structures looked at have a bearing on behavior?

They went into the weeds a bit here since they presented only one example rather than an actual study, and they should have couched the 'prognosis' in terms of statistical likelihood, but the science behind it is much more sound than phrenology ever was.

Love & care, matter... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41810953)

I've even seen this in my pet cats - In fact, my neighbors are ASTOUNDED by how smart they are...

I.E. -> My tenant says they're amazing & follow me like dogs do (rather than cats) - The mother especially!

She's SO SMART! I'd say she has around a 100 word "vocabulary" of human words + phrases she TRULY "gets"... no joke!

I.E.-> I can say "Show me" to her, and she will take me to whatever it is she is "complaining" about (via meows & such - not only for "food" either, but also to things she wants like her toys, or to go into the basement which I keep locked USUALLY, & of course, "FOOD"... Now, that's a word they ALL know, lol, VERY well, along with "outside" too, & imo, those are their FAVORITES!).

Speaking of food - I fed them on MOSTLY tuna since they love it (and it helps provide phosphorous to the brain too "bonus").

* I treat them as good as children in fact, & yes, they are loved here ("to-the-max") - they're my pals!

APK

P.S.=> So, per my subject-line & this article's findings? I agree with it, 110% - even regarding animals!

... apk

Re:Love & care, matter... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811113)

Good lord, just what we need on this planet, Mad Cat Nerds.

Your cat has you wrapped around her paw, and uses you like she plays with vulnerable little songbirds.

- cat owner

LOL! Probably true... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811305)

Thanks for the laugh too... I needed it!

* "Cats are BETTER people, than people..."

---

"Good lord, just what we need on this planet, Mad Cat Nerds." - by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, @06:02PM (#41811113)

Imo @ least? The world NEEDS more of us, lol... & as I type this? The largest male, "Grey Puss" (some name, eh) is sitting in my lap "kneading" my leg and licking my fingers in between (he's great - when you pet him? He "pays back", lol!).

A tenant of mine in the past left 2 females and instead of me just "letting them die" (which, they most likely WOULD have since they were only like 10 weeks old, TOPS)? I took them in... glad I did too. Sure, they're a pain & cost some, but now that I have them?? I am glad I made that decision.

APK

P.S.=>

"Your cat has you wrapped around her paw, and uses you like she plays with vulnerable little songbirds - cat owner" - by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, @06:02PM (#41811113)

See subject-line, "guilty as charged" no doubt here/probably - However - You forgot Snakes, Mice, Bugs, Moles, and Shrews (what they catch, & sometimes eat, from my woods I own near my home). I wish they'd eat more of them though, & not just "play" with them (one neighbor told me cats do this as "tribute" to the owner/master sometimes, but that I have a BIT of trouble believing.... but, who knows?)...

... apk

Abuse (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41810955)

The size of the brain isn't the determining factor in intelligence; Its surface area is. It's well-known that stress can cause structural differences in the brain, as does a wide variety of environmental conditions. But when you consider that a child can lose half of their brain and still go on to have a full range of mental faculties, and appear completely normal to any outside observer, it's clear size doesn't really matter... it's the number of interconnections between cells that seems to be what is important... and specifically, how and where those interconnections are made.

Now Expand the study by a couple Mags (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#41810959)

get back to me when you have scans of say 2K kids or say 2M kids

then index by Race/Gender/Location and whatever other factors you can think of.

No surprise (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#41810961)

Stupid parents have stupid children. I assume some is nutrition versus nurturing, but in the end it doesn't matter. And Mothers: Please don't use the TV as a babysitter.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811051)

Wow... bigotry, intolerance, sweeping generalizations, falling back on preconceived notions all in one statement. Are you trying for some sort of record?

Re:No surprise (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#41811147)

Bigotry? Intolerance? Care to be more specific?

Thanks Feminism. Thanks Rich People. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41810965)

On the other hand, the child with the smaller brain on the right will be more likely to become addicted to drugs, be involved in violent crimes, be unemployed and dependent on government benefits in the future.

And the cycle continues...

Re:Thanks Feminism. Thanks Rich People. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811029)

Thanks Welfare Queens. Your 13 tards are just what a certain political party needs.

Re:Thanks Feminism. Thanks Rich People. (0)

drsmack1 (698392) | about 2 years ago | (#41811415)

That is the secret of ensuring taxes are too high for a single earner to support a family, combined with guilting the most talented of our women into the workforce. This and other anti-family practices guarantees a steady supply of damaged children - who are certain to vote democrat in droves.

Of course, even with this - democrats are simply incapable of winning national office without the 90-98% black vote. Look it up. There is a reason that political maps show you all of the bad places to live in this country, they very helpfully mark them as blue splotches.

And for those who overtly push free speech, but covertly censor free speech that you do not agree with: There is nothing demonstratively incorrect in this post - and yet you will mod it down just the same. Cowards.

Re:Thanks Feminism. Thanks Rich People. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811921)

Hmm that's the exact opposite take I had. I automatically saw it as a result of poor social programs that mean if a single mother has a job she can't afford to take care of her children. Especially when you consider minimum wage isn't enough to live off of even with the earned income credits in most places. Plus people who vote Demarcate seem to spend more time considering what they are voting for rather than just saying Rush told me so.

Re:Thanks Feminism. Thanks Rich People. (0)

drsmack1 (698392) | about 2 years ago | (#41812009)

That all probably seems reasonable to you (and some others), doesn't mean it matches reality. You really think that the 98% black vote for democrats is the result of careful reflection? Also, if you look at the demographics of Rush Limbaugh's audience, you will see that as a whole they are solidly in groups who are the most knowledgeable about who and what they vote for.

There isn't a show on TV or radio that wouldn't kill for the quality of the audience he has.

I simply cannot find any single person who votes democrat that is capable of explaining what they want and why. I consistently find that as a group their knowledge of their own beliefs is paper-thin and if you challenge them to back up any of their opinions, they cannot. That's when they start switching subjects, parsing what you say to them (looking for something to argue about that leads away from the actual point), and slinging mud.

Re:Thanks Feminism. Thanks Rich People. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41812453)

That all probably seems reasonable to you (and some others), doesn't mean it matches reality. You really think that the 98% black vote for democrats is the result of careful reflection? Also, if you look at the demographics of Rush Limbaugh's audience, you will see that as a whole they are solidly in groups who are the most knowledgeable about who and what they vote for.

There isn't a show on TV or radio that wouldn't kill for the quality of the audience he has.

I simply cannot find any single person who votes democrat that is capable of explaining what they want and why. I consistently find that as a group their knowledge of their own beliefs is paper-thin and if you challenge them to back up any of their opinions, they cannot. That's when they start switching subjects, parsing what you say to them (looking for something to argue about that leads away from the actual point), and slinging mud.

Not going to blow my mod points for a moron like you, so I'm posting AC. I do want to note that your post engages in the same sweeping generalizations, paper-thin knowledge and tired rhetoric that you decry in those you consider to be your opponents.

Oh, and by the way, I vote the way I do because while I can't stop the greedy scumbags from the RepubliCrat party (yes, the wholly owned political subsidiary of corporate America), I can at least try to mitigate the damage by not supporting the folks who will bring us back to feudal times in ten years and vote for the ones who are okay with it taking 25 years or so.

Consider this If you're an ordinary American -- the Democratic side of the RepubliCrat coin is like standing under a leaky sewer pipe getting raw sewage dripped on you. The Republican side of the coin is like standing under the same pipe while someone takes a sledgehammer to it and breaks it wide open so you can get the full flow of the raw sewage on your head.

Both are disgusting, both are humiliating, but one give you the chance to maybe find a plumber to fix the pipe before it bursts on its own.

Oh, and I'd be happy to debate the important issues of the day with you anytime, mate. And you will find yourself on the short end.

Just for good measure, I'll point out that I love this country very much. It's my home and we've done well by each other. But I actually give a rats ass about my fellow Americans. Clearly, you're a "fuck you jack, I've got mine" kind of person. Your ilk are the reasons things are so screwed.

Re:Thanks Feminism. Thanks Rich People. (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 2 years ago | (#41811039)

Feminism and rich people? What?

Humans and socialization... (1)

raydobbs (99133) | about 2 years ago | (#41810973)

Humans are social animals - we develop to our fullest potential when we are safe, secure, and can develop socially. When we are ignored, or left alone - the need to develop complex intelligence and social constructs fades, we revert to a more animal state. Children, especially babies, are closer to animals (in brain development and in-born skills, not in terms of our compassion for them) in this aspect than adults - as they have not yet formed the relationships with other beings as well as the means to express themselves fully. Only after they are cared for, taught and kept in part of a social circle are they able to develop more humanly.

nutrition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41810999)

Neglect = poorer nutrition?

Already known, but ... (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 2 years ago | (#41811021)

I was under the impression that this was already an extremely well known impact of neglect (or conversely, attention). That said, comparing only two brains is completely meaningless. The margin of error is off the charts. And how were the children selected? Probably exactly because of the contrast between them.

Thanks mom! (1)

mveloso (325617) | about 2 years ago | (#41811043)

I guess your career was more important...b*tch! // just kidding, my mom was great.

Re:Thanks mom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811177)

my mom was great

SICK!

But yeah, she was great.

Re:Thanks mom! (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#41811277)

Seconded :)

So, in order for this comparison to have any basis (1)

gatesstillborg (2633899) | about 2 years ago | (#41811047)

whatsoever, presumably the skull sizes would have to be the same? (Unless skull size follows brain size? In which case, how does intelligence track with head size, itself? I wouldn't immediately expect it to.)

Were that so, one would think so much gap would likely result in injury or some other (physical) complications.

Hey morons, phrenology isn't neurology (0)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41811105)

Sorry, but yes, physical brain characteristics, including size, surface area, interconnections, and surplus or deficit of glia do frequently impact behavior. The brain, while packing quite a bit of redundancy, isn't some magic cloudy place where the spirit homonculus lives. So yes, this *looks* like phrenology, until you read a book on neurophysiology.

Extreme Neglect should be defined clearly (4, Insightful)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 2 years ago | (#41811153)

When you fail to clearly define what Extreme Neglect is you're giving crazy Helicopter Parents the excuse to be as crazy as they are. What is Extreme Neglect for 3 and under? Is leaving the child screaming for an hour in the bassinet extreme neglect, or is that just sleep training? I'd personally call hitting a child Abuse but is these also considered extreme neglect? Or is Extreme Neglect for those parents who never hold or cuddle their child, but rather just shove a bottle in the kids mouth and make sure their needs are only minimally met? Is leaving a child with their Grand Parent for the Day so you can have a night out Extreme Neglect, or is that Normal? I don't like these kinds of child studies because they overly generalize what they are looking at because they don't want to say something like we scanned the brains of children who were under the care of convicted child abusers who left their children at home unattended.

Re:Extreme Neglect should be defined clearly (2)

plover (150551) | about 2 years ago | (#41812169)

Let's assume for the moment that the study had any scientific basis. (Which is hard to do in this case, where a sample size of two and conclusions that equate to phrenology don't exactly inspire confidence.) It would not be uncommon to publish a gross generalization of the condition in order to not disturb the reader with those particular details. How is it that the details of the abuse would be relevant to your understanding? Would you understand better knowing if the baby had 20 cigarette burns or 50? Cigarette burns or crack pipe burns? Bruises from punching? Broken bones? That's sensationalism, not science, and while it might help sell copies of newspapers to a certain sick segment of our population, it really has no place in the discussion.

Look at it this way: if they claim Extreme Neglect, I expect that the child's medical data is available for someone who needs and can confirm that info, but I would trust that it consists of details I would find disturbing, and that I don't need to know.

Anecdotal (4, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | about 2 years ago | (#41811167)

So basically this qualifies as a glorified anecdote. We're taking the researcher's word for age and conditions of these two brain scans. The article chooses to talk solely about mother's love, and not any confounding factors. Where are the correlation statistics for mother, father, age, genetics, economics, poverty, education, community, nutrition, illness, accidents, grandparents, number of siblings, geographic location, social services, etc., etc.?

Offhand I would bet that simple nutrition is more highly correlated with brain size than mother's emotional attention -- and the former is something we can change with social programs. For this kind of stuff I want to see scientific studies, not People magazine exposes.

Trustworthy source (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#41811203)

Between a single instance being treated as definite proof, the unanswered question of whether the abuse might have included brain injuries, and the whorish, loud ads everywhere on the site... i'll take that with a bucket or two of salt, thank you.

Other Broad Studies Concur (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#41811217)

Early, often and continuous maternal contact, speaking and other interactions are shown to help development measurable in a variety of ways from ages as short as the first 6 months. This is no longer a surprise.

Harlow's monkeys, anyone? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41811229)

Is anybody else reminded of Harlow's rather disconcerting work on maternal attachment in monkeys and his later, even more disconcerting, work on the effects of isolation on monkeys(if your laboratory apparatus includes a device referred to as the 'pit of despair' you might have an ethics problem...)?

Flawed (1)

anavictoriasaavedra (1968822) | about 2 years ago | (#41811297)

The article does not relate the scans to professor Shore, a 2-subject experiment is not statistically significant in this case and it relies on evidence flimsily linked to other findings. This looks like tabloid fodder.

Wow, bad science? (2)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 2 years ago | (#41811317)

Perhaps there's a reason why this isn't in a peer reviewed journal. First off, you have a sample size in each group of exactly one. I'm not a statistician, but I'm pretty sure that in itself makes the whole thing utterly meaningless.

But let's pretend you get the same results with a statistically significant sample size...here it comes....correlation != causation (you were thinking that already). Perhaps the cause is nutrition, so you'd have to factor in nutrition, either by using neglected children who somehow had good nutrition, or non-neglected children who had poor nutrition (although I doubt those overbearing vegan hippies would be willing to let their children get blasted with evil voodoo radiation for the imaging studies). What if it's because the parents' brains are smaller? Perhaps it's purely genetic, the parents are stupid because of smaller brains and fuzzy spots and passed that trait onto their children, and they also neglect their child because they're stupid. The article also states that the child was neglected and *abused*, so how do we know the difference isn't the result of physical trauma?

Re:Wow, bad science? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41812043)

I saw a Dr. Oz show on this. When a child is exposed to traumatic experiences multiple+ times the part of the brain that controls the 'fight or flight' responsr gets permanently 'frozen' for life. When a normal, properly raised as a child, adult gets shocked or scared by an outside event, they get over it in a few minutes. But the adult traumatized as a child stays 'locked' in an angry, frightened or 'flight' response for far longer than normal.

I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811347)

This "love" nonsense holds about as much water as the faith put into a Jewish zombie carpenter. Next you'll be telling us the love of god will hold back the flames if you're stuck in a fire.

Show the parents brains too (1)

Nightlight3 (248096) | about 2 years ago | (#41811381)

The bad parenting is result of some brain difference too. And that difference is passed on genetically. Hence, on what basis do they attribute the difference to the neglect rather than to genetic causes?

Sample size of two (4, Informative)

J'raxis (248192) | about 2 years ago | (#41811439)

Your "study's" sample size is two. But gratuitous use of words like "shocking" and "chilling" will probably make most people ignore that.

Awesome New Tool for the CPS (2)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 2 years ago | (#41811445)

I for one think that all grade-school aged children should be given mandatory brain scans two or three times a year with bad results requiring the child to immediately be put into the nurturing safety of a Foster Care Facility and their Parents locked up for good.

Sometimes technology brings such wonderful possibilities for the safety of the Children!

N = 2. Great. Let's write it up and send it in. (1)

iliketrash (624051) | about 2 years ago | (#41811489)

N = 2. Great. Let's write it up and send it in.

Re:N = 2. Great. Let's write it up and send it in. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811573)

April 23, 1914

I took part in an interesting experiment today, though one can only call it an experiment in the loosest possible sense. We fired a shotgun at the head of Mr. Ottford's wife and observed that her head blew apart into small pieces. The head of the wife of Mr. Gross, who was not similarly shot, remained unchanged. I suggested publication of these results in the usual journals, but my assistant quite rightly pointed out that we really should repeat the experiment before making such a bold claim.

Malnutrition? (1)

twotacocombo (1529393) | about 2 years ago | (#41811601)

I'd be far more apt to believe that any sort of stunted development in a child was due to malnutrition, especially in one that was admittedly suffering from 'extreme neglect'. This 'study', as it stands, should be binned.

So childhood damage is rather permanent? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41811747)

It comes as little surprise. I think as we begin to get a more full grasp on how we develop as children into adults, we can make more progress to improve our species and our societies. It probably won't stop black men from leaving their families, or white trash from beating their wives right away, but perhaps in a generation or two, some real progress of understanding can be had.

But also in terms of how we deal with criminal behavior? We always want to say "bad person! punish them!" or "creepy person! put them away!" These are instictive reactions and not wholly suitable I think. Are many of these formerly neglected and abused children entirely responsible for their lives once they are grown? And their mental capacity and capability? Is that their fault? I know it gets into some pretty society-burdening areas when we start removing the fault and guilt from criminal behavior but I feel a bit bad for these children even after they have grown.

Ah... on second thought... forget everything I just said. Let's just keep on the way we are and throw people away. It's easier.

Re:So childhood damage is rather permanent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41811937)

You know what drives me nuts? My kids sometimes misbehave and my wife gets angry at me, because "They got that from you." But when I do something wrong and I tell my wife "Don't blame me, I got it from my dad," I spend the night on the couch. What the fuck.

concerned (1)

kenkanada (930980) | about 2 years ago | (#41812307)

generally intrigued and discouraged by the amount of negative and cynical response in the comments above. seems to be general resentment to the idea of nurturing and loving our babies. seems people would rather hear that it's ok to stick an bottle in your infant and leave them to cry it out in the crib.

Defend Yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41812351)

Size of brain at one end, ability to defend yourself at another.. why does that matter? because I personally watched decades of ghetto children from various families getting beaten, threatened, yelled at, ignored and otherwise treated harshly by mother and others.. all the while all around insisting that they love their children more than anything.. not necessarily evil harassment, although it did seem that way to me, but in the breeding of the people I saw, getting tough and aggressive was more important than being smart, apparently.. and tough they are! By early teens, the kids are beating others, stealing and occasionally drive by killing their rivals. You cant pass on your genes if you dont make it past 14 years old I dont think.. Harsh but absolutely true

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