Monday, June 23, 2014

Gender Brains and Crying Baby

Some women have complained that the males in the family seem to ignore the cries of a hungry baby or at least are slow to respond. It appears there are some brain differences that can help account for this. Marc Bornstein, head of child and family research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, is doing a series of studies to help better understand what he calls the parenting brain. Study results were published in the Journal Neuroreport. For purposes of the experiment, a group of eighteen men and women were encouraged to let their minds wander while researchers played recordings of white noise mixed with an infant’s cries. Brain scans showed that the infant’s cries abruptly raised attention levels in the women’s brains but the men’s brains remained in a resting state. More on the implications tomorrow. Meantime, if you’d like to listen to the clip from the research study, here is the URL.

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