The image above (work of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis) demonstrates how a mother's love and care-giving physically affects the mass and structure of her child's developing hippocampus. In some cases, there was a full 10% difference in the mass of the hippocampus, between nurtured children and extremely neglected children.
A shocking comparison of brain scans from two three-year-old children revealed new evidence of the remarkable impact a mother's love has on a child's brain development. The images reveal that the left brain, which belongs to a nurtured & loved 3-year-old, is significantly larger and contains fewer spots and dark "fuzzy" areas than the right brain, which belongs to that of a 3-year-old who has suffered extreme neglect.
Neurologists say that the images provide more evidence that the way children are treated in their early years is important not only for the child's emotional development, but also in determining the size of their brains. Experts say that the sizeable difference in the two brains is primarily caused by the difference in the way each child was treated by their mothers. While at first glance, the images might indicate that the child with the right brain might have suffered a serious accident or illness, neurologists said that the truth is that the child with the shrunken brain was neglected and/or abused by its mother, and the child with the larger and more fully developed brain was raised in a loving, supportive home and was looked after by its mother, according to The Sunday Telegraph.