Grandmothers are more emotionally attached to grandchildren than to their own children – Human – Science and technology

Grandmothers are probably more emotionally attached to their grandchildren than to their own children. This is according to a study published in the British journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, used brain magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brain activity of 50 women with at least one biological grandchild between the ages of three and 12. The scan took place when the grandmothers looked at photos of their own grandchild and photos of their parents, as well as pictures of another child and adult with whom they were not related.

The researchers observed significant brain activity in the brain, associated with emotional intelligence and empathy, as they looked at a photograph of their grandchildren.

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“It simply came to our notice then. When their grandchild smiles, they feel his joy. And if their grandchild cries, they feel his pain and anxiety, “said the anthropologist James Rilling from Emory University.

According to The Guardian, Rilling had previously conducted a similar experiment with fathers looking at photos of their children. The brain activity observed in the areas of emotion processing and in the areas related to reward and motivation was, on average, stronger in the older ones than in the fathers.

However, there were also fathers who experienced similar levels of activity in these areas of the brain as in the old ones. Conversely, when grandmothers looked at a photograph of their adult child, the researchers observed activity in areas of the brain associated with cognitive empathy. According to scientists, this could suggest that instead of a more direct emotional connection, they tried to understand their adult child cognitively.

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“Emotional empathy is when you can feel what someone else is feeling, but cognitive empathy is when you understand on a cognitive level what someone else is feeling and why,” Rilling said.

According to The Guardian, these findings could help explain the experiences of many adult children, with their parents often appearing more excited when they see their grandchildren than when they see their own offspring.

“I think it’s likely. Young children have probably developed traits that allow them to manipulate not only the mother’s brain but also the grandmother’s brain. An adult child does not have the same cuteness factor, so he does not even have to have the same emotional response, “Rilling said.

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Source: Pravda – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.

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