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Rats exposed in utero to phthalates–chemicals common in plastics–later showed differences in brain structure and some cognitive deficits compared to rats without the chemical exposure, finds research in JNeurosci. Researchers exposed pregnant rats to an amount of phthalates proportionally similar to that found in studies with pregnant women. When the babies born to these rats were tested as adults, they had fewer neurons and synapses in their medical prefrontal cortex and performed more poorly on an attention–switching task compared with rates that were not exposed to the phthalates in utero. (Monitor on Psychology)

Susie Bean Gives