You may have heard of a very disturbing story before of a human mother eating her own baby. And you probably thought, what would compel her to do such a thing? A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal has revealed why a mother would eat her baby.
The reason a mother eats her baby has to do with a number of factors such as starvation or mental illness. But the science behind it is that the same chemical reaction that happens in your brain when you are extremely hungry is triggered by the scent of the infant.
Researcher Johannes Frasnelli states, “What we have shown for the first time is that the odor of newborns, which is part of these signals, activates the neurological reward circuit in mothers. These circuits may especially be activated when you eat while being very hungry, but also in a craving addict receiving his drug. It is in fact the sating of desire.”
In the experiment the researchers had two groups of 15 women, one group had children, and the other group had not had children. Then they performed brain image testing as the researchers presented each group with odors from others’ new born babies. What they discovered was that the women who had children dopamine levels increased in their brain. Dopamine is the chemical in our brains associated with pleasure. Johannes Frasnelli stated, “Dopamine is the primary neurotransmitter in the neural reward circuit.”
Numerous questions remain unanswered about this horrific phenomenon that is not as uncommon as one may think. Like, do sane women eat their babies too? What make some mothers able to refrain from gobbling up their babies even though they like their smell vs. women who do eat their babies? Do men also eat their children or is it only among women? Let us know what you think in the comments below.