As tears go by: Baby tears trigger more brain activity than adult tears in nulliparous women

M.M.E. Riem, P. De Carli, M.H. van IJzendoorn, A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets, M.J. Bakermans-Kranenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

The current functional magnetic resonance imaging study examines brain activity during the perception of infant and adult tears. Infant tears evoke stronger responses in the visual cortex than adult tears, indicating that infant tears are highly salient. In addition, our study shows that infant tears uniquely activate somatosensory pain regions, which could stimulate actions directed at the elimination of the source of pain. Shedding tears may be a strong means to elicit the parent’s sharing of the infant’s feelings, thereby strengthening caregiver-infant bonding and securing infant survival.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)633-636
JournalSocial Neuroscience
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Cite this

Riem, M.M.E. ; De Carli, P. ; van IJzendoorn, M.H. ; Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M. ; Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. / As tears go by : Baby tears trigger more brain activity than adult tears in nulliparous women. In: Social Neuroscience. 2017 ; Vol. 12, No. 6. pp. 633-636 .
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As tears go by : Baby tears trigger more brain activity than adult tears in nulliparous women. / Riem, M.M.E.; De Carli, P.; van IJzendoorn, M.H.; Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M.; Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J.

In: Social Neuroscience, Vol. 12, No. 6, 2017, p. 633-636 .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - The current functional magnetic resonance imaging study examines brain activity during the perception of infant and adult tears. Infant tears evoke stronger responses in the visual cortex than adult tears, indicating that infant tears are highly salient. In addition, our study shows that infant tears uniquely activate somatosensory pain regions, which could stimulate actions directed at the elimination of the source of pain. Shedding tears may be a strong means to elicit the parent’s sharing of the infant’s feelings, thereby strengthening caregiver-infant bonding and securing infant survival.

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