Recent research may have a link between mother-baby connectivity and infant brain development.

The study, which was published in the journal NeuroImage, use EEGs to look at the brain signals of both mothers and their babies. After analyzing the results, the researchers found that mothers and babies who spend a lot of time together in a positive emotional state tend to have highly connected brains.

photo: Daria Shevtsova via Pexels

What does this connection mean? According to the researchers, positive interactions (such as plenty of eye contact) can help the mother’s and baby’s brains work as a single system. This inter-connected neural network supports information sharing and may boost the baby’s ability to learn.

Researcher Dr. Vicky Leong of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Psychology said of this connection, “From our previous work, we know that when the neural connection between mothers and babies is strong, babies are more receptive and ready to learn from their mothers.”

Leong added, “At this stage of life, the baby brain has the ability to change significantly, and these changes are driven by the baby’s experiences. By using a positive emotional tone during social interactions, parents can connect better with their infants, and stimulate development of their baby’s mental capacity.”

—Erica Loop



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