In lists of the most insane experiments of all time, he ranks normally far above: an experiment with infant monkeys, by the American psychologist Harry Harlow in the late 1950s, the nature of the parent-child wanted to explore a relationship. At the time of the opinion, affection, spoil children prevailed, rather than benefit them.
This was based on the behaviorist model of conditioning: the parents, so it was thought, would be a reward, mainly in the Form of food, certain behaviors foster – for love was no place in this concept. “The overly geherzte child will have to take serious cliffs,” it said in a much-read educational books.
This, from today’s point of view, inhuman mind wanted to refute Harlow and conceived of a cruel Experiment. He isolated newborn Rhesus Monkeys from their biological mothers and gave them as a replacement for two lifeless dummies: feeding a wire, but thanks to a chest position of the built-in vial capable of, young; the other is totally without food, but with a warm, cuddly fabric body.
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And in fact, drank the Monkey, although more often at the breast of the “wire mother”, were looking for otherwise, but the proximity of the “cloth mother”. Even if Harlow to haunt the infant monkeys a scare by dropping mechanical monsters at you, went at this in the protection of the “mother” that she had donated never fed, but supple comfort.
Harlows spectacular attempt has been largely forgotten, and then for many of the surprising realization that parental affection and closeness for children is important, is likely to call at many a bored shrug.
It is certainly worth a closer look, what the science now is all about the positive effects of affection – and what devastation can inflict their Absence.
Neglect extreme: Kaspar-Hauser-syndrome
Already in the 20th century. Century, researchers found: The lack of attention and Stimuli leads to physical and mental development is delayed or disrupted. Doctors speak of hospitalism, Deprivation, or, in extreme cases, from the Kaspar-Hauser-syndrome.
Among the diverse symptoms of psychomotor slowing, apathy, social contact disturbances, temper tantrums, anxiety, disturbance in attention. All this – plus the consequences of a lack of nutrition and Hygiene – was to visit in disturbingly dramatic ways, as in 1990, after the end of Ceausescu’s dictatorship, the conditions in Romanian orphanages for the world public, were visible.
Already half a century earlier, the British child psychiatrist John Bowlby had begun to take the consequences of a broken and torn mother-to-child-relationships systematically.
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With his book, “loyalty – An analysis of the mother-child relationship,” he laid the foundations of the psychological theory of commitment (English, “attachment”), which is widely recognized today. It assumes that human beings are born with a need for close, emotional relationships.
Such ties not only to the mother, as you know, in the meantime, but also to others and usually to several persons play, especially in the toddler age a Central role; the experience gained in this Phase will shape the entire emotional, and personality development of the adolescent.
Not afraid of pampering by too much proximity!
Especially for children, the proximity and loving care of persons of trust, therefore, is essential to life – a need that makes sense from an evolutionary point of view immediately.
The children of a physician and development expert Herbert Renz writes,-padding: “proximity meant protection and children in a time were crept, as the hyenas around the camp, and there was no triple-glass Windows, can’t get enough!” For Renz-Polster is therefore clear: be afraid to spoil children with too much proximity, is out of place.
➨ More on the topic: A brain scientist explains what kids more than their parents need
The evolutionary heritage reaches back a lot further. So it is lick for rats and mice is essential that mothers are supported in some species by the fathers to their offspring (licking) and the coat care (grooming).
In this early Phase, the Small do it otherwise, not even to empty the bowel and bladder. But above all, parental neglect has psychological consequences. So licking and grooming resulted in experiments: rats received in their Childhood, a lot of caresses, all her life, less anxious and are up to the stress tests, such as the Swim in a narrow vessel better.
In 2004, researchers Michael Meaney of McGill University were able to show in Montréal, Canada, a so-called epigenetic switch is responsible of the activity of stress-regulated and-related genes.
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This is supported by Experiments in which young mice repeated by the mother animal to be separated. They are later more prone to psychosocial Stress, show more anxiety and frequently suffer from chronic intestinal inflammation.
Recent results suggest that in humans, similar mechanisms lead to the fact that trauma can impact tables experiences in childhood, life-long – for example, on the psychological state and the immune system.
However, it also plays a role in the extent to which the experiences of the mentally processed: The psychologist Anna Buchheim, the research today at the University of Innsbruck, in 2006, revealed together with colleagues: it Shows women in a brain scanner, binding relevant images and lets you matching personal stories to tell, so occur in subjects with unprocessed weave trauma, eye-catching activations in Amygdala, Hippocampus and lower in the temporal lobe – that is, in regions associated with negative emotions, and autobiographical memories and emotional processes.
Related: separation stress and pain
The acute pain of separation, if a related Person is missing is not only highly emotional, but in fact closely related to physical pain.
So Francesca D’amato from the Institute of cellular biology and neurobiology in Rome, was able to show on mice babies that both types of pain are controlled by the same Opioid Receptor in the brain.
And Jaak Panksepp, Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a pioneer of affective neuroscience, has been described for a range of basic emotions branched neural systems.
One of these emotions of separation stress, Panksepp refers to as a PANIC. The associated PANIC-System has its origin in the Periaqueductal gray of the Tegmentums, a Region, the sensations also for physical pain is a key role.
Conversely, the consequences of positive binding experience, empirical direct evidence. This applies to short-term effects – skin contact with the parents helps to stabilize baby’s breathing, circulation and metabolism.
But also for long-term: long-term psychological studies, we know that people with secure ties in the Childhood socially competent, better able to weather crises to cope with, less likely to have addictions and other mental illnesses.
Bond as a secure base for Learning and social life
And still another is the effect of positive attachment experiences. Harlow came with the rhesus monkeys to the following result: Were you alone, or with the wire mother in a strange environment, were timid and passive. The fabric was mother in the room, let your curiosity completely unconcerned.
➨ Find out more: This image shows, what with the brain of a child happens, the parents neglect to
Mary Ainsworth, a pioneer of attachment theory, coined the term “secure base” Who finds in his reference person reliable support and comfort, which the bonding offers a good starting point for exploring on your own – the stroller then, your urge to explore investigate, adapt to new situations, experiences and people.
Ties are not only to survive the necessary Arrangement in times of need for assistance and emotional comfort to candy in the serious moments – they are also the essential basis for Learning and the development of an independent, self-responsible life.
to read More:
Renz-Polster, Herbert: children understand. Born to be imprinted wild: How the Evolution of our children, Munich, 2009
Gaschler, Katja and Buchheim, Anna (Hg.): Children need close. Secure bonds to build and maintain, Stuttgart 2012
The post appeared first on dasgehirn.info and was reduced by the HuffPost editorial team.
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