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BiAffect PI Dr. Alex Leow is quoted in a U.S. News & World Report story about the distinct changes that unfold in new fathers' brains about the birth of their child.
Read the full story by HealthDay reporter Cara Murez here
Dr. Alex Leow, a professor of psychiatry and bioengineering at the University of Illinois Chicago, said science is now appreciating that people have many differences and that it's important to study different groups.
There is more awareness of sex differences in the brains of men and women, in both structure and function, Leow said.
Leow noted that the default mode network is a concept that has been popular among brain scientists for about 10 to 15 years. The idea is that the brain is active even if it's just thinking through the day's tasks.
"A lot of the things the brain's thinking about when we are not doing a task is really contemplating ourselves. It turns out that's exactly a fundamental function of this default mode network," Leow said.
Where a person is in terms of their life span can also make a difference. A person's focus may be different in their 20s than when they have kids, when their children are in their teen years or when they are approaching retirement, Leow said.
"And I can see that when parents are now expecting a newborn baby, that reflection is totally different. It's a very different kind of reflection," Leow said. "And I think in that sense, it makes a lot of sense for the primary part of the brain to be affected being the default mode network."
Other studies have followed mothers for a longer period of time to see if changes after pregnancy reverted back to baseline or were permanent. That would be an interesting follow-up question to pursue after this study, Leow said.