The Effect of Maternal Mathematical Solving Problems and Geometric Activity on Fetal Brain

Context: In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the impact on child development of maternal exposure to physiological, environmental and also psychological factors during gestation. Several independent research relate maternal stress to emotional and behavioural issues in the child during pregnancy. Objectives: The objective of this study was to observe the impact of maternal cognitive activity on the blood flow of the foetal brain to determine whether systemic maternal mathematical activity during pregnancy could affect the development of the child’s brain. Methods: thirty-five women participated in mathematical tasks during the 28th to 40th week of pregnancy. Before, during, and after the operation, the foetal middle cerebral artery (MCA), pulsatility index ( PI) and peak systolic velocity (PSV) were tracked. Results: It has been shown that brain activity and blood flow are closely related. Toward the end of the mathematical operation, we observed a substantial decrease in foetal brain MCA resistance, as shown by decreased MCA PI. This can result in increased blood flow and, possibly, increased brain activity in the arteries that supply most brain regions. Conclusions: A correlation between the involvement of the mother in mathematical activities and the blood flow of the foetal brain can lead to improvement in the brain function of the foetus and a cognitive advantage for the child. We expected to find a correlation between maternal mathematical activity and foetal MCA’s PSV and PI values, and indeed, our data points to those as manifested by decreased PI in the MCA, resulting in increased blood flow in the main artery of the brain. This leads us to hypothesise that both short- and long-term physiological changes in the foetus and, ultimately, in the child could result in maternal mathematical activity during pregnancy. If corroborated by further studies, such results are important and may lead to a revolution in pregnancy management protocols aimed at developing children’s mathematical or other cognitive abilities.

Author(s) Details

Dr. Dina Hassidov
Talpiot College of Education, Israel.

Dr. Uzi A. Asher

Clalit Health Services, Israel.

Moshe Ben-Ami
Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Bar Ilan University, Israel and The Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Israel.

Leandro Keselman
The Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Israel.

Ruba Sabri
The Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Israel.

Sami Haddad
Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Bar Ilan University, Israel and The Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Israel.

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