It turns out that pictures of the smiling babies may be more than just decorative pieces. An interesting study at the Baylor College of Medicine suggests that a baby’s smile may be providing a natural high to the mother. This natural high, as with some foods or drugs, may even be addictive. Recently released in the journal, Pediatrics, the study shows that the brain responds to the facial cues of babies.
Some research scientists believe that there is an association between the limbic system (emotions), associative system (cognition) and motor system (behavior) of the brain that is set into motion when a new mother observes her happy, smiling baby. A cascade of reactions is initiated with that smile, activating important dopamine-associated reward processing areas of the brain, which motivates maternal care and contributes to maternal-fetal attachment.