Science is painting a dramatic picture of how childhood neglect damages developing brains, so stunting them that neglect might be likened to physically violent abuse.
The latest addition to this research narrative comes from a study of mice placed in isolation early in their lives. The researchers found striking abnormalities in tissues that transmit electrical messages across the brain.
The isolated mice were antisocial, with striking deficits in memory. Their myelin, a cell layer that forms around neuronal networks like insulation around wires, was unusually thin, especially in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region central to cognition and personality. Learn more here.