Research Suggests Neglectful Babies Have Smaller Brains

A child needs to spend time with his/her parents. An infant's interaction with parents is very important for the growth and development of the brain. Research has proven that babies with neglectful parents tend to have smaller brains. The babies with neglectful parents don’t have a developed brain as compared to other babies who get more attention.

Scientists and researchers from King’s College London researched babies for the growth and development of the brain. The researchers analyzed the brain scans of 67 Romanian adoptees now in their twenties from the 21 English adoptees. The number of adoptees in Romania were higher because, under the leadership of Nicolae Ceauşescu, both abortion and contraception were forbidden in Romania.

Since abortion and contraception both were forbidden the number of births increased. People were not able to or were or ready to take of the newborn babies thus, left them in their cots outside temples or somewhere else with negligible interaction. This increased the number of orphanages in Romania. These babies were further occupied and adopted by people with mental illness or disabilities.

Former leader of Romania, Nicolae Ceauşescu believed that children were very important for population growth which was further significant for the economic development of the country. Thus, he banned abortion and contraception methods. The citizens were also being taxed for being childless. Thus the number of orphanages and childbirth increased in Romania.

After carefully scanning the brain scans the researchers and scientists found out that ‘brain volume of neglected orphans rescued from notorious Romanian institutions before the fall of Communism is 8.6% smaller.’ The research also suggests that parents who neglect their children and instead prefer to spend time with their phones and laptops have babies with a smaller and underdeveloped brain.

For the growth and development of the brain, the parents need to interact with the babies. After looking at different faces or the same faces again and again the brain of the babies grows and develops. By hearing voices and seeing different gestures the brains of the babies grows and develops. These interactions bring a significant difference in the size of the brain of the babies when they reach adulthood.

The research analyzed that ‘The longer the time the Romanian adoptees spent in the institutions the smaller the total brain volume, with each additional month of deprivation associated with a 0.27% reduction.’ Thus the Romanian adoptees had a lower IQ’s as well. The smaller brains and underdeveloped brains create a problem in the adulthood of the babies.

Prof. Mitul Mehta shared “We found structural differences between the two groups in three regions of the brain. These regions are linked to functions such as organization, motivation, integration of information and memory.” The research is also published in the journal Proceedings Of The National Academy of Science

The research showed that the “participants in the study had suffered ‘severe childhood deprivation’, were often malnourished and had ‘minimal social contact and little stimulation’ before being adopted into families in the UK.” Young Romanian Adults aged 23 to 28 years of age have a smaller right inferior frontal regions of the brain both in terms of volume and surface area”.