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Baby’s Head Growth influences its Intelligence

According to a recent study, kids with bigger heads tend to be more intelligent than those with smaller ones. //

This study conducted by Catherine Gale, Ph.D. and her colleagues was published in the October issue of the journal Pediatrics. 633 full-term British babies were included in the study. The head circumference of the babies was measured with the help of a tape at birth and then at the ages 1, 4 and 8years.

The kids took IQ tests at the ages 4 and 8 years. Higher IQ scores were observed in kids with bigger heads. According to the researchers, the growth of head by the age of 1 year was important. Growth in the later years did not have much of an effect.

"A child’s intelligence may partly be reflected by how much his or her head grows by the age of one, " said a researcher. According to the researchers, the actual reason for the larger brains in some kids than the others is not known. However, several factors like parent-child relationships, head growth, particularly in infancy may have an impact on the child’s intelligence.

"Brain growth after infancy, at least in terms of brain volume, is unlikely to compensate for poor growth in the first year of life," the researchers write. The parents of the kids were also included in the study. The survey on the mothers included their parenting style, their older children, and other factors like breastfeeding and postpartum depression. They were then given grades based on the results.

Higher IQ scores were recorded in kids whose parents were more educated, who had been breast-fed for 3 or more months and had mothers who scored high grades in the parenting questionnaire.

Even after taking all this into account, it was the baby’s head growth by age 1that determined the IQ scores in the 4- and 8-year-olds. "Our findings provide additional evidence that infancy is the most important period of postnatal brain growth for determini ng later intelligence," the researchers write.

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