The science of connection

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Knowledge is pouring in from a wealth of scientific fields, all of it pointing to one key message. Human beings are born to connect.

Babies arrive already connected to other people. Even moments after birth, they have brains paying attention to the movements and facial expressions of the people holding them. Their brains will be shaped enormously by the way in which other people respond to that attention.

We need a sense of connection throughout life. The evidence now shows how much our physical health, mental health, self-esteem, and our ability to manage our behaviour, are shaped by our sense of belonging.

The aim of connected baby is to help the public understand this scientific knowledge. We hope you will feel excited and curious. The discoveries shine light not only on our personal lives, but on the way we organise our whole society.

Here’s some of the topics we cover:


Every time you start your day, you draw on the emotional attachment processes your brain built as a baby.

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It is common to believe that dementia can progress so far that it makes it almost impossible to ‘find’ the person inside.

It can seem as if they have disappeared entirely into their illness. Science is now helping us to understand that is not true.

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One of the most important insights that has been learned from neuroscience over the past two decades is that neural development is shaped by relationships.

Human brains are not complete at birth. They are designed to develop after birth.

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Babies arrive already connected to other people.

They arrive in the world as persons, already interested in other people’s facial expressions, rhythms and movements. They are able to communicate.

They have brains that automatically read meaning in the actions of other people.

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