Washington: A new study has revealed that a mother's soothing presence and tender, love, care( TLC) cannot just ease pain but it may also impact early brain development by changing gene activity in the part of the brain where emotions are involved.
Research led by NYU Langone Medical Center found in an animal study that several hundred genes were more, or less, active in rat infants experiencing pain than in those that were not. With their mothers present, however, fewer than 100 genes were similarly expressed.
The research is believed to be the first to show the short-term effects of maternal caregiving in a distressed infant pup's brain. The study was also designed to support neurobiologist Regina Sullivan's research into the long-term consequences of differences in how mammals, including humans, are nurtured from birth.
Sullivan cautions, however, that the long-term consequences of these genetic modifications must also be compared to the short-term benefits for tying pain stimuli during infancy to such a powerful symbol of safety and security as the infant's mother.