Health

Does empathy come from your mother’s first hug?

According to Cara Murez Health Day Reporter

Monday, April 5, 2021 (HealthDay News)

Show your love to your baby. That way, you’ll get a kinder and kinder adult child as your reward, new research suggests.

More than 20 years ago, Israeli researchers began studying the effects of time spent on physical contact with mothers on newborns.

Investigators have followed these babies born in the mid-to-late 1990s for 20 years.

Currently, their latest results, based on nearly 100 young adults, show that the mother’s contact received all of them years ago is the social brain function decades later, and the ability to empathize and relate to others. Indicates that it had a measurable effect on.

“By getting closer to the mother’s body, the mother and baby were able to be more in harmony and in sync with each other throughout the 20 years of development, which would sensitize the brain and empathize with the emotions of. It became. Others. ” She is a professor of developmental social neuroscience at the Israeli interdisciplinary center Helzria and is co-appointed at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut.

The study included three categories of babies. Enemies who have been unable to physically contact their mother for at least a few weeks after hatching. And a more stable enemy, whose mother promised to hold them from skin to skin for at least one hour a day for at least 14 consecutive days.

According to Feldman, the babies in this third group should have had limited physical contact with their mother during the study, during which time the warmth of the mother replaced the incubator.

“We are close to the mother’s body, like other mammalian adolescents who need all the preparations in the mother’s body and body, for a variety of reasons, children for attachment, self-regulation. I believed it would be beneficial to us. “

Researchers regularly checked in to children and their families and evaluated their interactions, their “mother-child social synchronization,” from nonverbal clues and early reactions.

Over time, mothers and children built a more complex ability to look to the other side, allowing them to have their own opinions, Feldman said. “You are positive and see the interaction of adult mothers and children with each other, and they are both sitting on the sofa and laughing together,” she said.

At the beginning of adulthood, they evaluated the brains of grown-up children.

“What we wanted from the brain was the ability of the brain to empathize with the emotions of others, not only with the sadness and pain of others, but also with the joy of others,” Feldman said. I am.

She said that the areas of the brain that were particularly sensitized were the amygdala and the islands. Feldman described the amygdala as the center of unconscious emotional discrimination and the island as an area that integrates signals from one’s body with signals from other people’s emotional states.

“These two areas have become more functional and more sympathetic to others through lifelong synchronization,” says Feldman.

Dr. Michael Yogman, a pediatrician at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts, adds data that the study is very important early in life. He called the study “breakthrough.”

Yogman, a former chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, said parents are in direct contact with each other on a regular basis, even if they are not in contact with each other. He states that he will be sensitive to baby clues.

“It begins to synchronize the host of biorhythms, circadian rhythms, hormonal changes … and brain changes. [Feldman] Document “.

But even premature babies who did not receive this kind of contact early in life, he said, were still successful when they returned home to their loving, comforting parents.

“It speaks to resilience, not everything is lost, but we are learning more and more about quality care early on. Parenting is really important early on,” says Yogman. Told.

The study did not focus on synchronization between father and child, but Yogman said he believes the effects could be very similar if the father was engaged early. I did.

Feldman agreed. When a father works on infant care, she said, there are ways in which the father can benefit the baby as well.

“I think it’s important to have a loving and stable relationship in your child’s life,” Feldman said. “And I also think that fathers are very meaningful and parents are more likely to be more beneficial than grandparents, but grandparents can be very beneficial.”

This study was published online in the journal on March 30th. PNAS..

For more information

The University of California, Davis details the bond between mother and child.

Sources: Dr. Ruth Feldman, Professor of Developmental Social Neuroscience, Simsman, Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center in Israel, and Part-time Professor, Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut. Michael Yogman, MD, Pediatrician, Cambridge Health Alliance, and Assistant Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. PNAS, March 30, 2021, online

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