Saturday, July 26, 2008

Moms and their babies

According to some recent research using MRI imaging, the sight of a mom's own smiling baby triggers a reward-processing center in the mom's brain, posssibly by releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine. And one's own baby triggers a higher level of response than a picture of a similar smiling baby.

We have long known that smiling babies are attractive to adults. From the evolutionary perspective, it makes sense that we automatically respond positively to babies - raising them takes a lot of energy over a long time. This research suggests ways that that response actually happens in our brains. Here's a link to an article in the New York Times about the research.


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