Brain activity in mothers and their babies may be more strongly connected when the mother is happy, according to the University of East London’s Dr Sam Wass, one of the authors of a new study.
Researchers used a method called dual electroencephalography (EEG) to look at brain signals in mums and babies while they were interacting. They found that mums and babies tended to show synchronous patterns of brain waves – known as interpersonal neural connectivity - particularly in the frequency of 6-9 hertz, the infant alpha range.
The study, published in the journal Neuroimage, found that positive interaction, with lots of eye contact, increased the ‘oneness ‘of the mother-infant neural network, as opposed to being two functionally separate systems, which facilitates efficient sharing and flow of information between mother and infant.
Dr Sam Wass, who leads the BabyDev Lab at the University of East London, said,