Scent of a baby acts as a reward for cuddling

attachment styles, theory

A team of researchers in Germany conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brains of 30 women. Half of the women had given birth within the previous three to six weeks, and the other half had never given birth. The brains of the women were imaged while they sniffed pajamas worn by newborn babies for the first two days of life. Both groups experienced increased dopaminergic responses, which are critical to the brain’s reward pathways. However, the new mothers experienced a significantly higher activation than the childless women.