Luby, J.L. et al. (2012)
Maternal Support in Early Childhood Predicts Larger Hippocampal Volumes at School Age
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 109(8): 2854-9

pdfMaternal Support in Early Childhood Predicts Larger Hippocampal Volumes at School Age (full summary)

  • The hippocampus is a region of the brain involved in memory and regulation of emotion and stress.
  • Researchers measured the volume of the hippocampus in 7-13 year old children who had been divided into four groups according to early childhood experiences: depressed or healthy, and with high or low levels of maternal support.
  • In the healthy children, the hippocampus was larger in those who had had good maternal support in early childhood.
  • The quality of maternal support made no difference to the hippocampus size in children who had been depressed in early childhood.