Lack Of Communication Impairs Brain Connections

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from Sciencemag): “During the 1980s, thousands of infants in Romanian orphanages spent up to 20 hours a day lying untouched in their cribs, deprived of human contact. As they grew up, neurological and psychological tests confirmed a haunting phenomenon observed in other species, such as mice and rhesus monkeys: Early isolation and neglect can produce lasting cognitive damage, ranging from severe emotional instability to mental retardation.

“Now, researchers say they have discovered a possible explanation for why early neglect wreaks such havoc—isolation may stunt the growth of the brain cells that insulate neurons, resulting in slower communication between different areas of the brain. …

“Children who’ve experienced early neglect show reductions in their white matter—particularly in the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain linked to decision making, working memory, and social function, Corfas says. To track how isolation might affect the development of the myelin-producing glial cells, called oligodendrocytes, the researchers bred mice in which those cells would glow: They added green fluorescent protein to the creatures’ oligodendrocytes. …

“The team’s findings have ‘important implications’ for how isolation affects the brain on a molecular level, with a mechanism that is likely to be the same across different species, says John Cacioppo, a social neuroscientist at the University of Chicago. Although this study focuses only on the effects of isolation in early life, he notes that for humans, even the perception of being alone can seriously affect long-term health. Loneliness isn’t just angst, he says—it’s an emotional signal we’ve evolved that motivates us to repair and maintain relationships, which are vital not only to our health and well-being, but to ‘the survival of our genes.’”

My Comment: A human being is a social creature, and the extent of his evolution more and more needs the right environment that defines his worldview, and thus his behavior and fate.

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