A Mother`s Love
Here's Looking at YouUntil babies develop language, it is nearly impossible to know what's going on in their mind. For many months, our only clues are crying, then facial expressions, then cooing, then more crying. But thanks to new brain imaging technology, researchers have caught glimpses of how a baby responds to different environmental cues.READ MORE
Although newborns cannot see very clearly in their first few months of life, they seek out other human faces, especially their mother's. While an infant locks eyes with mom, there is heightened activity in the baby's right prefrontal cortex, among other areas. This part of the brain's cortex is associate with many positive emotions. It is one of the areas that lights up when a mother gazes at her baby, too.
As babies' vision develops, the sight of their mother's face becomes clearer, and most newborns see their mother's face more frequently than any other person's. That may be one reason that in the first 6 months of life, babies prefer any female face to a male face. LESS
The Emotional ConnectionRichard Davidson, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin at Madison is one of the leading researchers of the connections between brain activity and emotional responses. In one study, his team studied the brain activity of babies when their mother's would leave the room they were in. They found that 10-month-old babies who would cry hysterically and recover slowly when their mother left the room had high levels of right prefrontal cortex activity. The babies who did not have an intense emotional response to their mother's departure did not show a surge in activity in this part of the cortex. The researchers don't know whether the resilient babies were born with a different response mechanism, or developed it over the early months of life. But the difference is brain activity was dramatic. READ MORE
Maternal love does not just activate certain areas in the brain. It also deactivates other areas, regions associated with negative emotions and social judgment we use to assess other people’s intentions and emotions. Moms who are in love with their babies, it seems, suspend the sort of judgments that might interfere with their positive feelings. LESS