How early-life challenges affect how children focus, face the day

Adversity early in life tends to affect a child’s executive function skills—their ability to focus, for example, or organize tasks. Experiences such as poverty, residential instability, or parental divorce or substance abuse, also can lead to changes in a child’s brain chemistry, muting the effects of stress hormones. These hormones rise to help us face challenges, stress or to simply […]

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Child abuse and professional confidentiality: ‘Focus on proper care, not on remaining silent’

How long should and may a doctor remain silent if he suspects child abuse? A GP who often sees the whole family, or a paediatrician, fills a crucial role when it comes to picking up signals of child abuse. Mirjam Sombroek-van Doorm examined how tenable professional confidentiality of medical practitioners is and will defend her doctoral thesis on 19 February. […]

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Attention, please! Anticipation of touch takes focus, executive skills

Anticipation is often viewed as an emotional experience, an eager wait for something to happen. Inside the brain, the act of anticipating is an exercise in focus, a neural preparation that conveys important visual, auditory or tactile information about what’s to come. Now, brain research among 6- to 8-year-old children from the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain […]

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