Motherhood alters brain functions

Jerusalem: Motherhood causes alterations in brain functions that help mothers locate and communicate with their offspring, especially if they are in distress, says a study by Israeli researchers.

Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said the study shows how neural changes in response to odour and sounds help maternal behaviour develop in mothers.

"We know that distinct brain changes are linked with motherhood, but the impact of these changes on sensory processing and the emergence of maternal behaviour are largely unknown," Adi Mizrahi, who conducted the research, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Mizrahi`s team examined whether the mothers` primary auditory cortex -- a region in the brain that is involved in the recognition of sounds -- might serve to process the responses to their offspring`s specific smell and voice.

The research proved that the olfactory and auditory senses of female mice were triggered immediately after they gave birth, with especially strong responses to cries of distress from the offspring.

IANS

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