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EARLY STRESS MIGHT MAKE BRAINS GROW UP TOO FAST

Scientists understand that stress in early childhood can create lifelong psychological troubles, but have only begun to explain how they emerge in the brain. For example, they have observed that stress incurred early in life attenuates neural growth. Now a new study with male mice exposed to stress shows that the hippocampus reaches some developmental milestones early—essentially maturing faster in …

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Stories that force us to think about our deepest values activate a region of the brain once thought to be its autopilot

Everyone has at least a few non-negotiable values. These are the things that, no matter what the circumstance, you’d never compromise for any reason – such as “I’d never hurt a child,” or “I’m against the death penalty.”  Real-time brain scans show that when people read stories that deal with these core, protected values, the “default mode network” in their …