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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Mar 9, 2019


If a parent constantly corrects an infant, that child’s brain becomes more sensitive to angry vocalizations.  Investigators at Britain’s University of Manchester studied 40 six month old infants and their mothers utilizing the novel neuroimaging technique of Near Infrared Spectroscopy.  This permits the study of a baby’s brain activation by maternal vocalizations without the noise of MRI.

Infants as young as 6 months can differentiate happy and unhappy vocal rhythms.  The researchers found that those babies whose mothers repeatedly corrected them developed nerve networks that preferentially respond to angry vocalizations.

This study underscores the exquisite sensitivity of infant humans.  Parents need to monitor their own and each other’s interactions with their children and realize how much their behavior imprints their offspring in both negative as well as positive ways.  

Good parenting is creating a safe, happy environment for your child by constructing boundaries in a playful and positive manner.

#anger #parentalcorrections #happy #helicopterparenting

Chen Zhao, Georgia Chronaki, Ingo Schiessl, Ming Wai Wan, Kathryn M. Abel. Is infant neural sensitivity to vocal emotion associated with mother-infant relational experience? PLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (2): e0212205 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212205