fMRI study suggest baby smiles give moms a “buzz”

MSNBC reports on research from the Baylor College of Medicine:

[Dr. Lane] Strathearn and his team used functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan the mothers’ brain reactions to photographs of their own 5-month to 10-month-old babies and those of others in three emotional states: happy, neutral and sad.

As expected, the sight of their own happy babies sent blood rushing to the moms’ brain regions associated with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in addiction. The spike rewarded the mothers with a neural kick that prompted them to want to take action to care for their babies, Strathearn said.

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