Lock Eyes With Your Baby, Synchronize Brain Waves?

From Drugs.com - December 1, 2017

Lock Eyes With Your Baby, Synchronize Brain Waves?

FRIDAY, Dec. 1, 2017 -- Gazing at your baby may do more than strengthen that bond with your newborn, a new study suggests.

Eye contact between parents and their infants actually helps synchronize their brain waves, researchers report.

"When the adult and infant are looking at each other, they are signaling their availability and intention to communicate with each other. We found that both adult and infant brains respond to a gaze signal by becoming more in sync with their partner," said study lead author Victoria Leong.

She's an affiliated lecturer in the department of psychology at Cambridge University in England.

"This mechanism could prepare parents and babies to communicate, by synchronizing when to speak and when to listen, which would also make learning more effective," Leong said in a university news release.

Previous studies have shown that when parents and their infants interact, it leads to synchronization of things such as gaze, emotions and heart rate, the researchers noted. But it was not clear if their brain activity also synchronizes.

To find out, the Cambridge researchers conducted experiments with 36 parents and their babies.

They measured patterns of brain activity via electrodes in skull caps worn by the participants. They compared the infants' brain activity to that of the adult who was singing nursery rhymes to the infant.


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