Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Low birth weight, depression, of mother, of child, brain lateralization

Low birth weight (LBW) of a baby is often associated with depression. But whose depression? The pregnant mother or the child when he/she grows up? The following are research articles on this subject.

Mother's depression associated with LBW of the baby:

LBW associated with depression when the baby grows up:
Interestingly, this research shows that only girls, not boys, are affected. However, there's conflicting research in this respect, which is the next article.

LBW not associated with depression when the baby grows up:
Even more interesting is that this same-year (2007) research was conducted by researchers at the same university, University of Southampton. (I don't know whether and how this group communicates with the other.)

Another aspect of LBW relevant to mental health is its connection to lateralization of brain function ("division of labor", so to speak, of the two brain hemispheres). And again, the Southampton scientists pioneered this research:
which is published in a 2011 issue of Public Library of Science.
In short, LBW is associated with more right brain activity. According to Wikipedea, the right brain is responsible for pragmatic and contextual language capability, and the prosodic aspect (speech), but not grammar or vocabulary of it, and (not shown in the table on the page) depression.