Article from Dr. Michael Meaney's lab featured in ScienceDaily
From the lab of CIFAR Fellow Michael Meaney (McGill University): Scientists have provided evidence that socioeconomic status affects family function and the development and function of brain regions that are critical for attention, learning and memory. Meaney's lab looks into how parenting produces lasting effects on cognitive and emotional development. His lab examined development in rats and found parental influences on the chemical, or 'epigenetic', signals that control the activity in the brain of genes that influence the connections between brain cells as well as learning and memory. In adult animals that were licked more frequently by their mothers the epigenetic signals enhanced the activity of genes associated with learning and memory. These findings reveal that social influences during early life affect the activity of genes that affect the structure and function of brain regions critical for cognitive capacity.