Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kids Brains Are Impacted Just By Seeing Domestic Violence

harvard1 Researchers at Harvard and Kumamoto Universities found that children aged 3 to 17 years old who saw severe domestic physical violence at home showed reduced development of the visual cortex in the right hemisphere of the brain by an average of 20.5%.

The visual cortex is where information from our eyes is processed. This means that the child may not process clearly what is going on in their environment.

Some other research I read several years ago talked about how children, whose mothers experienced major stress while the baby was in the womb, experienced greater growth at the brain stem. This is where the fight or flight response originates. Children whose mothers experienced a calm pregnancy experienced greater growth in the front part of the brain where higher reasoning is located.

This study on domestic violence further reinforces that our environment affects the way our brain develops.

(Reported : The Virginian Pilot April 26, 2010)

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