Prabarna Ganguly

Neuroscience

Northeastern University

We know that a mother-child relationship is perhaps the most important bond any human being ever experiences. It is one filled with nurture, care, and attention. However, since time immemorial, such caregiving has been taken away from thousands of children, be it in the name of war or politics. Many children end up in institutionalized care, such as orphanages, and never find loving foster homes. A large number of them suffer from depression, PTSD, and substance abuse disorders.

In a personal quest, I am trying to understand how separating children from their mothers can derail a child’s behavioral and neurological development. I am curious to know- what happens to the way neurons communicate with each other? Where in the brain do these changes occur? What are the behavioral outcomes? Can we affect the brain in non-invasive ways to make such adverse life events less devastating? Using various biological and psychological research tools, I hope we can answer some of these questions, in small, but perhaps valuable, ways.

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