What happens to the brains of men who become fathers? What happens to the brains of men who become fathers?

What happens to the brains of men who become fathers?

What happens to the brains of men who become fathers?

A team of scientists from the United States and Spain studied the changes that occurred in the brains of men who became fathers for the first time. They discovered that there were both positive and negative changes in brain structure.

The scientific journal Cerebral Cortex notes that neuroscientists wanted to fill the gap in understanding how fathers' brains adapt to parenthood, because most previous studies in this area focused on mothers.

The study involved 38 men who were becoming fathers for the first time, all of whom underwent high-resolution MRI scans while their wives were pregnant and again 6 to 12 months after the birth.

In addition, they had to fill out questionnaires about themselves during pregnancy and three, six and 12 months after the baby was born. These questionnaires assessed factors such as the relationship with the baby, parental stress, time spent with the baby, sleep quality and psychological health.

The researchers found significant reductions in cortical gray matter volume across the entire cerebral cortex in new fathers, particularly in the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes, as well as the cingulate cortex. These changes were most pronounced in fathers who reported bonding with their baby before birth and those who planned to take extended leave from work after the birth. The largest changes in gray matter volume were in the left frontal, right parietal, and right temporal lobes. The same was observed in fathers who spent extended periods with their infants as primary caregivers.

The researchers found that greater parental stress was associated with less shrinkage in the volume of the cerebral cortex. These findings suggest that changes in the brains of young fathers are linked to their parental motivations, which reflect their success in adapting to parenthood.

In addition, the study revealed the negative side of these changes. It turned out that a significant decrease in cortical volume was associated with poor sleep quality and higher levels of depression, anxiety and psychological stress 3, 6 and 12 months after birth.

Men preparing for fatherhood should be aware that the new trait may reveal vulnerabilities in their mental health, the researchers say.


  1. After becoming father there work gets started actually

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