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Busting the baby brain myth: Why motherhood makes minds sharper | New Scientist
In adults, such rapid changes in grey matter normally occur only as a result of major events like illness or brain injury. It just goes to show that “pregnancy is not just some minor event”, as Kinsley puts it. “These changes represent a separate developmental period every bit as important as sexual differentiation or puberty.”

women in the last trimester of pregnancy tend to be much less stressed. This is down to a dampening of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the system responsible for the flight-or-fight response. These changes appear to last beyond pregnancy, although for precisely how long remains unclear.

Starting in late pregnancy, women get better at detecting fear, anger and disgust in computer-generated faces, though their ability to detect surprise and positive emotions such as happiness doesn’t change.

corticotropin-releasing hormone – secreted by the hypothalamus – rises dramatically during pregnancy, which seems to play a role in making the mother-to-be feel less stressed. But an abnormal spike in its levels is associated with postnatal depression, Glynn has found.
children  pregnancy  parents  brain  intelligence  female 
january 2016 by aries1988

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