Baby’s smile not reward enough

In a study published online July 26, 2017, in the journal Human Brain Mapping, University of Iowa researchers believe they may have found a biological link between drug abuse in mothers and caregiving problems. Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine brain activity in 36 mothers who used addictive substances during pregnancy. When the mothers saw their babies’ smiling faces, the reward regions in the brain were not affected. Researchers compared this information to previous studies done on non-addicted mothers, which showed a powerful reward response to their smiling babies, which is thought to reinforce caregiving behavior.