Baby’s smile, Mommy’s brain
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
When baby smiles, Mom gets happy. But why is that? Researcher Lane Strathearn of Baylor University College of Medicine literally looked into it, by giving moms brain scans while they looked at pictures of their babies and other babies.
Strathearn says the scans showed moms reacted differently when they saw their baby’s face, as opposed to some other baby’s face. The moms also reacted differently when they saw their baby looking happy, as opposed to sad or conveying no particular expression.
He says happy babies seemed to set off pleasure centers.
``That involved regions of the brain that are important in reward processing. These areas of the brain are important for motivation of behavior.’’ (10 seconds)
The study in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ journal Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011