Skip to comments.Newborn baby’s smell is as addictive as drugs or food: study
Posted on 02/24/2014 8:47:51 PM PST by Altariel
TORONTO For women, smelling a newborn baby feels as good as drugs are to addicts or cheeseburgers to those just breaking a fast, new Montreal research suggests.
A University of Montreal scientist says a newborn babys odour lights up the reward centres in our brain in a way other scents cant. And for women specifically moms the experience, a rush of dopamine to the brain, is heightened.
The reaction is so strong, it exists even if the baby isnt in front of you. Its chemistry between mom and baby.
What weve shown for the first time is the odour of newborns which is part of these signals activates the neurological reward circuit in mothers. These circuits may especially be activated when you eat while being very hungry, but also in a craving addict receiving his drug. It is in fact the sating of desire, lead researcher Dr. Johannes Frasnelli said.
Frasnelli is a professor of psychology in Montreal. He recently collaborated with colleagues in Sweden and Germany in a project looking at how odour affects our brains. Do we react to the scent of a stranger the same way we respond to the scents of our family members or friends?
In this case, the scent of newborn babies was put to the test. Their pajamas they had lived in for about a day or two were frozen to capture the odour. Then, 30 women half of which were moms and half werent were put to the test.
Under an fMRI scanner, they were given shots of air, newborn baby scent and a third scent. They were then asked to describe the scents in the case of the baby odour, it was typically described as slightly pleasant while researchers studied their brain reaction.
But the brain scans revealed that the limbic system of the womens brains had lit up. And for new moms, the reward centre responded so strongly there was a marked statistical difference compared to the group of women who hadnt had their maternal instincts kick in yet.
Frasnelli said that if a baby scent can tap into our reward centres so strongly, it could explain why parenthood makes new moms and dads so happy. Even without the baby in front of them, the subjects brains were flooded with feel-good endorphins.
You have this new person, this little thing in your home thats crying all the time but its such a beautiful thing, every parent will tell you. And why is that? Its partly because of these activations here, Frasnelli told Global News.
You want to be close to the baby, it gives you so much reward. Some people describe a babys odour like chicken soup.
Dopamine is also linked to sexual pleasure and other forms of gratification. Lab rats that can tamper with their dopamine levels using electrodes can become so addicted to the chemical, theyll forgo eating to keep pumping it through their systems.
Men were not included in the study, so Frasnelli is unsure if this is an innate human reaction or an experience exclusive to women.
Hes also unsure if the heightened reaction from moms stems from a learned reaction after spending time with their babies or if its a natural chemistry between women and babies.
Frasnellis full findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Read the full study here.
Speaking from personal experience, the baby’s cry also does a dandy job of waking up the father.
What comes out of a baby, no matter what it is, does not.
I've changed diapers that could gag a maggot.
Twelve and nine years later I still love the smell of my sons’ heads.
ping for later research
That explain all the Baby huffers breaking into hospitals
And the Pushers on street corners offering hits.
The truth is the truth. If this scientist's experiment was valid, then other scientists can duplicate the experiment and demonstrate statistically equivalent results. True science has the characteristic that it can be used to make predictions.
The results of this experiment predict a similar outcome if the experiment is duplicated. This is very unlike so-called "global warming" which has not been able to predict ANYTHING. Will the earth be warmer in 15 years or colder? Can't predict. Will we have more hurricanes or fewer? Can't predict.
This scientist's experiment predicts that there is a statistically significant brain chemistry response when certain subjects are exposed to certain objects. If his experiment is not reproducible, it is not good science. If it is reproducible, then it has predictive value.
Einstein, one man, theorized that light rays will bend in a gravitational field. He suggested an experiment to verify that result using the apparent position of stars during a total eclipse. The experiment has been performed and, when done exactingly, verifies the theoretical claim.
It is the ability to perform the experiment and achieve predictable results which constitutes good science, not the number of scientists who make the prediction.
There's even more to it than that.
My eldest daughter was several months old when she learned to stand up at the edge of her crib and her crib had been moved to her own room.
I'm normally a very sound sleeper. I'm talking several standard deviations into "sound sleeper". I've slept through fire alarms.
In the middle of the night I heard the baby making some sounds that I could hear coming from outside our room. A few seconds later I heard a sound as if the baby had fallen to the floor.
Needless to say, I was out of bed like shot to check on the baby. What I found was a baby sleeping as peacefully and soundly as I should have been.
The mystery was solved a week or two later when we discovered an item out of place and on the floor in another room. Evidently a fairly heavy plastic puzzle with a round cross section had been placed in an unstable position on a closet shelf about seven feet above the floor.
Why this item chose the middle of the night to release its potential energy, I don't know. However, the sensation I had at the time was that I had already been awake and had heard the entire sequence of events, which is very unlikely. I think there is a level of awareness even when we are asleep and, if something of consequence happens, we are able to respond.
I remember similar experiences.
Baby hollered and I hit the ground halfway across the room and already running.
I knew all this eons ago when I got my master's degree. I'm old now, retired and don't need the lecture.
butthump phoney baloney when I read it. Shades of the Great Do-Nothing Mystifier.