Children whose mothers are nurturing by nature have a larger hippocampus -- a structure in the brain that plays an integral role in learning and memory.
Researchers from washington university school of medicine conducted brain scans on nearly one hundred school-age children.
They found those who had been nurtured had a hippocampus nearly ten percent larger than those whose mothers were not as loving.
The researchers say the results likely apply to other caregivers -- like fathers, grandparents and adoptive parents.
The study authors determined if parents were "nurturing" during a series of in-person tests.