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FATHER/CHILD CONNECTIONS: WHAT NEUROSCIENCE TELLS US ABOUT DEVELOPING COMPETENT AND CARING KIDS AMY BANKS MD DIRECTOR OF ADVANCED TRAINING SENIOR RESEARCH.

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Presentation on theme: "FATHER/CHILD CONNECTIONS: WHAT NEUROSCIENCE TELLS US ABOUT DEVELOPING COMPETENT AND CARING KIDS AMY BANKS MD DIRECTOR OF ADVANCED TRAINING SENIOR RESEARCH."— Presentation transcript:

1 FATHER/CHILD CONNECTIONS: WHAT NEUROSCIENCE TELLS US ABOUT DEVELOPING COMPETENT AND CARING KIDS AMY BANKS MD DIRECTOR OF ADVANCED TRAINING SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST JBMTI WELLESLEY CENTER FOR WOMEN

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3 “POOR JOE” 44 YO IRISH CATHOLIC MAN MARRIED 10 YEARS TO AN ITALIAN WOMAN 2 CHILDREN (3 YO BOY AND 9 YO GIRL) ON THE VERGE OF BEING PROMOTED TO VP OF THE THE FIRM HE JOINED WHEN IT WAS A START-UP WORKS HOURS/DAY SEEN BY FRIENDS AND FAMILY ALIKE AS SUCCESSFUL BUT……… HE IS MISERABLE………. “MY LIFE IS A RUN AWAY TRAIN” WIFE HAS GONE BACK TO WORK PART-TIME AND WANTS HIM TO DO MORE AT HOME SPREAD TOO THIN; NOT MEASURING UP TO HIS OWN STANDARDS AT HOME OR WORK NO TIME FOR HIMSELF NOT SLEEPING WELL DRINKING LOTS OF CAFFEINE POOR CONCENTRATION/FOCUS STARTING TO USE MORE ALCOHOL TO SETTLE DOWN AT NIGHT

4 “POOR JOE’S KIDS” HE IS WORRIED ABOUT BOTH KIDS JOE JR. IS NOT INTERESTED IN SPORTS LIKE HIS FATHER JOE JR IS SENSITIVE; MORE NEEDY SINCE STARTING PRE- SCHOOL WORRIES THAT JOE JR WILL BE BULLIED AT SCHOOL IF HE IS NOT TOUGHER. FEELS HIS WIFE IS CODDLING HIM BUT…. THE MORE LIMITS HE SETS, THE MORE OUT OF CONTROL JOE JR SEEMS JANE JUNIOR IS ABOUT TO TURN TEN AND IS “DEVELOPING EARLY”. HE WATCHES EVERY INTERACTION WITH MALES AND IT INFURIATES HIM BORN IN OCTOBER OF 2001 WHEN THEY WERE LIVING IN NYC/ HE WORRIES ABOUT THE IMPACT 9/11; JANE JR. IS AN ANXIOUS CHILD FIGHTING TO GET A CELL PHONE SO SHE CAN TEXT HER FRIENDS WANTS TO BE ON THE COMPUTER ALL THE TIME/DOES HE NEED TO WORRY ABOUT CYBERBULLYING? WHEN HE BRINGS UP HIS CONCERNS, JANE JR IS FURIOUS AND CALLS HIM CONTROLLING AND OVERPROTECTIVE.

5 VISUALIZE A POSITIVE INTERACTION 5

6 “RISKS” OF CHRONIC DISCONNECTIONS FELITTI - CA HMO, 13,500 MEMBERS - 1/2 “RISKY” INCREASE IN SUICIDE, DEPRESSION, DRUGS AND ETOH USE, STD, HEART DISEASE, DIABETES, STROKE, BRONCHITIS, HEPATITIS, CANCER TAYLOR - UNIVERSITY STUDENTS FROM “RISKY” FAMILIES RESPOND MORE POORLY TO STRESS

7 “RISKY FAMILIES” NO HISTORY OF SEVERE ABUSE TENSION LACK OF AFFECTION NEGLECT CHAOS CHRONIC DISCONNECTIONS

8 “I am not aware of any other factor in medicine – not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery – that has a greater impact on our quality of life, incidence of illness, and premature death from all causes.” ----Dean Ornish MD, on the healing power of love and intimacy

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10 THE DOWNSIDE OF AMERICAN CULTURE SEPARATION AND INDIVIDUATION GOES AGAINST OUR BIOLOGY CAN LEAD TO FEELINGS OF ISOLATION CULTURE OF FEAR/VIOLENCE HAS ESCALATED THIS GENERATION (WITH MORE VIVID REALISTIC PORTRAYAL OF VIOLENCE IN MOVIES AND IN VIDEO GAMES) TECHNOLOGY IS SHAPING EXPERIENCE AND CAN BE OVERWHELMING

11 TOY CHOICE – NATURE VS NURTURE FEMALES – PREFER PLUSH TOYS MALES – PREFER TOYS WITH MOVING PARTS AND ONES THAT MAKE LOUD NOISES HOW MANY PEOPLE THINK THIS IS BIOLOGY? HOW MANY THINK THIS IS CHILD- REARING?

12 The dilemma of nature vs nurture

13 THE SOCIAL NEURON ( COZOLINO, 2006) “ NEURONS ARE, BY THEIR NATURE, SOCIAL; THEY SHUN ISOLATION AND DEPEND ON THEIR NEIGHBORS FOR SURVIVAL. IF THEY AREN ’ T SENDING AND RECEIVING MESSAGES FROM OTHER NEURONS ON A CONSTANT BASIS, THEY LITERALLY SHRINK AND DIE ” 13

14 14 NEURONS SOCIALIZING!

15 STAGES OF BRAIN DEVELOPMENT ROUGH ESTIMATES, EVERY CHILD WILL HAVE HIS/HER DEVELOPMENTAL PACE 0 – 5 YEARS OLD 6 – 12 YEARS OLD 12 – 25 YEARS OLD

16 BRAIN DEVELOPMENT Maximum brain cell density between month 3-6 in utero final months before we are born, brain is pruned to eliminate unwanted connections between 6-12 YO - neurons grow bushier - making many new connections second wave of pruning throughout adolescence through internal genetics and external environmental pressures Parts that are nourished will grow and develop

17 STRESS AND THE BRAIN Any chronic stress impacts the brain acute stress can contribute to directional pruning chronic stress leads to “general wear and tear” - in hippocampus particularly

18 RULES FOR BRAIN CHANGE 1. USE IT OR LOSE IT 2. NEURONS THAT FIRE TOGETHER,WIRE TOGETHER 3. AS ADULTS, WE NEED ATTENTION AND NOVELTY- DOPAMINE

19 CRITICAL PERIOD Critical period plasticity occurs in childhood Brain maps can be changed just be being exposed to the world because learning machinery is “on” After critical period, nucleus basalis can be turned on only when something important or novel occurs, or if we make an effort to pay close attention

20 WITH SCHOOL COMES INCREASED PRESSURE OVERWHELMING SCHEDULES MULTITASKING VIOLENCE ON TV AND WITH VIDEO GAMES PEER PRESSURE AND FEAR OF BEING LEFT OUT

21 THE MYTH OF MULTITASKING “DESPITE OUR SUBJECTIVE FEELINGS TO THE CONTRARY, ACTUALLY OUR BRAIN CAN WORK ON ONLY ONE THING AT A TIME…..THE BRAIN IS DESIGNED TO WORK MORE EFFICIENTLY WHEN IT WORKS ON A SINGLE TASK AND FOR A SUSTAINED …PERIOD OF TIME” (RESTAK) “DISTRACTION REDUCES EFFICIENCY” (HANCOCK)

22 FRONTAL – LIMBIC BALANCE LIMBIC SYSTEM REGISTERS FEAR AND AGGRESSION PREFRONTAL CORTEX MODULATES LIMBIC SYSTEM SO WE DON’T ALWAYS RESPOND TO FEAR WITH AGGRESSION NIH STUDY – IMAGES FROM MOVIES AND TV CAN BE EQUALLY EFFECTIVE IN DESTABILIZING THE “THINKING” AND “FEELING” BRAIN (Restak)

23 RIGHT HEMISHPERE AND IMAGES RIGHT HEMISPHERE WORKS WITH IMAGES NOT WORDS SO SEEING AN IMAGE OF VIOLENCE OR DISASTER MORE DESTABILIZING THEN READING ABOUT IT. THE MORE HOURS SPENT WATCHING 9/11 IMAGES THE GREATER THE INCIDENCE OF PTSD (EVEN IF FAMILY OR FRIEND NOT INVOLVED) (SCHLENGER, 2002)

24 VIOLENT MEDIA AND AGGRESSION “THE CORRELATION BETWEEN VIOLENT MEDIA AND AGGRESSION IS LARGER THAN THE CORRELATION BETWEEN EXPOSURE TO LEAD AND DECREASED I.Q. LEVELS IN KIDS….IT’S LARGER THAN THE EFFECTS OF EXPOSURE TO ASBESTOS. IT’S LARGER THAN THE EFFECT OF SECONDHAND SMOKE ON CANCER.” (BUSHMAN)

25 NEUROPLASTICITY MAKES HUMANS REALLY RESILIENT TO CHANGES IN LIFE TO A POINT ONCE HABIT IS FORMED, THE PRINCIPLES OF NEUROPLASTICITY MAKE IT VERY HARD TO CHANGE

26 RELATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE “WE ARE HARD-WIRED TO CONNECT” MIRROR NEURONS SMART VAGUS/POLYVAGAL THEORY SOCIAL PAIN-OVERLAP THEORY DOPAMINE REWARD SYSTEM/SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM ATTACHMENT THEORY NEUROAFFILIATIVE HORMONES

27 THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN ENSURE THAT HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP IS THE MAJOR NEUROPLASTIC SHAPER OF THEIR BRAINS THAT MEANS YOU!

28 “C” IS FOR CALM REPRESENTS THE SMART VAGUS’ ABILITY TO BALANCE THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS CENTER WHEN YOU ARE IN GROWTH- FOSTERING RELATIONSHIP. 28

29 Do your relationships help you feel calm? 29

30 “ The Smart Vagus ” (Stephen Porges)

31 FRIEND OR FOE?

32 PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYTEM SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM SMART VAGUS

33 UNDER STRESS, SENDS NOREPINEPHRINE TO HEART,LUNGS, GI TRACT, PUPILS, BLOOD VESSELS, SWEAT GLANDS PREPARES THE BODY FOR ACTION

34 The oldest system evolutionarily Largely from the vagus nerve Leaves brain and innervates the GI tract, respiratory tract, heart and abdominal viscera Third system of defense, when stimulated leads to the “freeze”

35 STIMULATION OF THE SMART VAGUS WHEN RECOGNIZE ANOTHER PERSON AS FAMILIAR AND SAFE CULTURE MATTERS CALMS THE SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM

36 DO YOU HAVE GOOD VAGAL TONE? The ability of the vagal system to regulate heart and other target organs is very dependent on childhood experience As adults, good vagal tone allow us to be come upset, anxious or angry at a loved one without withdrawing or becoming too physically aggressive.

37 C.A.R.E. FOR KIDS “C” IS FOR CALM – – SMART VAGUS NERVE FIRES WHEN YOU ARE IN HEALTHY CONNECTION AND HELPS TO DECREASE STRESS – FRIENDLY FACES AND SOOTHING SOUNDS BUILD GOOD VAGAL TONE – EYE CONTACT (IF CULTURALLY SUPPORTED), KIND GREETING AND A SMILE INCREASE VAGAL TONE – MODULATE YOUR CHILD’S STRESS LEVEL SO THE SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM DOES NOT GROW TOO BIG AND OVERWHELM THE SMART VAGUS

38 “A” IS FOR ACCEPTEDNESS REFLECTS THE ABILITY OF YOUR DORSAL ANTERIOR CINGULATE GYRUS TO HELP YOU FEEL A SENSE OF BELONGING AND ACCEPTANCE. 38

39 WHY BEING LEFT OUT HURTS (EISENBERGER AND LEIBERMAN) SPOT THEORY = SOCIAL PAIN OVERLAP THEORY PAIN FROM SOCIAL EXCLUSION AND PAIN FROM PHYSICAL INJURY OR ILLNESS SHARE THE SAME BRAIN PATHWAYS THAT REGISTER DISTRESS (THE DORSAL ANTERIOR CINGULATE CORTEX) SOCIAL EXCLUSION AND PERCEIVED SOCIAL EXCLUSION CAN BE DEADLY

40 A NEW CULTURAL NORM ROUTINELY ASSESSES PHYSICAL PAIN 40

41 41 DR. Amy Banks HOW MUCH SOCIAL PAIN DO YOU HAVE?

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43 JUDGEMENT REACTIVE ANTERIOR CINGULATE PAINSOCIAL EXCLUSION A JUDGING BRAIN CAUSES PAIN 43

44 C.A.R.E. FOR KIDS “A” IS FOR ACCEPTEDNESS – UNCONDITIONAL LOVE HELPS YOUR CHILD FEEL A DEEP SENSE OF BELONGING. – ACTIONS CAN BE WRONG, A CHILD CAN NOT. – HELP YOUR CHILD MANAGE DIFFERENCE IN OTHERS BY NOTICING AND NAMING RATHER THAN JUDGING AND EXCLUDING. – ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO DIFFERENTIATE RATHER THAN SEPARATE.

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46 MIRROR NEURONS – DISCOVERED IN THE 1990’S BY ACCIDENT WHEN WE SEE ANOTHER PERSON MOVING OR FEELING, THE MIRROR NEURONS THAT WOULD ALLOW US TO MOVE OR FEEL FIRE AT THE SAME TIME. WE LITERALLY MIMIC THE OTHER PERSON TO KNOW HOW THEY FEEL OR WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO DO NEXT

47 HOW DO WE READ OTHERS? KNOWING ANOTHER’S EXPERIENCE ACTIONS PREMOTOR CORTEX EMOTIONS INSULA CONNECTED TO VISCERA SENSATIONS SOMATOSENSORY CORTEX IN THE PARIETAL LOBE 47 THESE THREE AREAS ARE LOOSELY CONNECTED AT BIRTH, BUT EXPERIENCE CAUSES THEM TO FIRE TOGETHER AND THEREFORE WIRE TOGETHER CREATING “SHARED CIRCUITS”

48 WHERE ARE MIRROR NEURONS? 48

49 Men, Women, Mirror Neurons, and Pain (Tania Singer) Is there gender difference in empathic reactions? – Good guys, bad guys and electric shock. – Women equally empathic (reactive in anterior cingulate and insula) to both good guys and bad guys being shocked – Men – empathic response was as big as women’s for the Good guys – Men have little to no empathic response/resonance to the bad guys receiving the shock – Instead, men activated dopamine reward pathways when the bad guys felt the pain! How they felt about the person impacted the level of empathy. 49

50 MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DON’T DO SUPER MIRROR NEURONS KEEP US FROM OUTWARDLY MIMACKING EVERYONE’S ACTIONS FUNCTIONAL/INHIBITORY MIRROR NEURONS ON TOP OF THE CLASSICAL MIRROR NEURONS FIRE WHEN OBSERVING ANOTHER PERSON’S ACTIONS SO YOUR BODY DOESN’T SIMPLY IMITATE THE ACTIVITY 50

51 DIFFERENT PATHWAYS FOR KNOWING SIMILAR VS DIFFERENT PEOPLE Similar people – simulates the mirror neuron system. Dissimilar people – mirror neuron system is deactivated– – rely on dorsal medial prefrontal cortex – associated with “abstract thinking” like cultural rules. More disconnected way of knowing. Therefore – BRIDGING DIFFERENCE is a critical relational ski ll. 51

52 C.A.R.E FOR KIDS “R” IS FOR RESONANCE – Accurately reading another person’s actions, intentions, and feelings is a crucial part of emotional intelligence. – Kids need direct communication and an accurate naming of feelings from you to build the neural capacity to mirror others. – Pay close attention to what your child is mirroring Stop the exposure to violence!

53 “E” IS FOR ENERGY REFLECTS THE DEGREE TO WHICH DOPAMINE STIMULATION IS ATTACHED TO HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP SO THAT CONNECTION PRODUCES ENERGY AND MOTIVATION. 53

54 IN THE BEGINNING THE DOPAMINE REWARD SYSTEM IS STIMULATED TO GIVE LIFE SUSTAINING BEHAVIORS A REWARD FOOD, NURTURANCE, WATER, REPRODUCTION ALL PRODUCE A “HIT” OF MOOD ELEVATION AND EUPHORIA

55 EVERYONE WANTS TO FEEL GOOD EVERYONE WANTS DOPAMINE

56 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE ARE RAISED TO BE INDEPENDENT? DEPENDING ON THE DEGREE OF PRESSURE, WE BEGIN TO SEPARATE THE DOPAMINE REWARD SYSTEM FROM RELATIONSHIP/NURTURANCEDEPENDING ON THE DEGREE OF PRESSURE, WE BEGIN TO SEPARATE THE DOPAMINE REWARD SYSTEM FROM RELATIONSHIP/NURTURANCE LOOK TO OTHER WAYS TO SUSTAIN MOOD AND PLEASURE.LOOK TO OTHER WAYS TO SUSTAIN MOOD AND PLEASURE.

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58 SOME OTHER WAYS WE STIMULATE THE DOPAMINE REWARD SYSTEM DRUGS OF ABUSE OVEREATING SEX ADDICTION MATERIALISM RISK TAKING EXTREME NOVELTY

59 C.A.R.E. FOR KIDS “E” IS FOR ENERGY – HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP STIMULATES DOPAMINE – DOPAMINE CREATES THE ENERGY AND DESIRE FOR MORE HEALTHY CONNECTION – TIME WITH YOUR CHILD STRENGTHENS THIS CONNECTION; MAY PROTECT AGAINST ADDICTIONS. – ALL KIDS NEED PLAY TO STIMULATE DOPAMINE – DOPAMINE IS A PARENT’S BEST FRIEND; POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT WORKS MUCH MORE EFFECTIVELY THAN FEAR OR SHAME – CHILDREN LEARN BEST WHEN IT IS FUN!

60 AVOID RELATIONAL RUTS ALLOW THE RULES OF BRAIN CHANGE TO WORK IN YOUR FAVOR CONNECT, RESPECT, AND DON’T REJECT


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