Andy’s Quick Hits (235): Unpredictable Parents Disrupt Brain Circuitry in Children

Andy Hab
2 min readJun 16, 2022

Intuitively we all know that good parenting is essential to kids’ healthy development. We all agree on that.

But as soon as we try to define what good parenting is we then enter into controversial territory with diverging opinions, multiple lines of differing research, and some of the world’s best-selling books. In the USA the legendary Dr Spock’s “The Common Sense Book of Child and Childcare” still ranks as one of the best-selling books of all time.

However, research has slowly built up a solid base of what it needs to bring up children. The “all you need is love” philosophy proving to be extremely robust. Research into various animal models, show that offspring who receive more care developed better, but also research into the brain shows that the brain responds by building more connections, and having healthier, or better formed, brain cell populations, and stronger brain circuits in critical areas.

I have written about the dramatic impacts on upbringing, particularly obvious when conditions are dire. So, the research is painting a clearer picture here. But this latest piece of research out gives us a clue to something else that seems to be critical — and many may already have worked out and intuited.

What is this?

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Andy Hab

Sharing fascinating, fun, and important knowledge on the brain and human behaviour - most days. And masters track athlete - still going strong!