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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

This paper explores the cognitive effects of breastfeeding through Intelligence Testing and Imaging Testing that compares IQ, success, and brain structure of individuals that were breastfed, formula fed, and both breastfed and formula fed. Intelligence studies available are widespread for all age groups and signify a causal relationship between breastfeeding and intelligence. However, imaging testing is not as extensive, but shows a strong correlation between cognitive development and breastfeeding. The mechanism of breast milk’s impact on cognitive development is at an exploratory phase, with a possibility that docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acids, along with other nutrients found in breast milk, contribute to preferential neural development. Altogether, the biological principle that structure equals function, is supported by evidence from Intelligence and Imaging tests that structural differences in the brains of those who were breastfed, caused by the components of breast milk, results in superior intelligence (than non-breastfed individuals) throughout life.

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