Study: Eyegazing Syncs Mom and Baby’s Brainwaves

January 14, 2019 at 1:34 am

Staring into each other’s eyes literally puts parent and baby on the same wavelength!

Want to calm your baby down?  Calm yourself and then stare into their eyes.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have found gazing into your baby’s eyes can literally put them on the same wavelength as you.

The study compared the brainwave patterns of 36 infants with the brain activity of an adult, who was singing nursery rhyme while intermittently staring into their eyes, both on video and in person.

Researchers found that the pairs synced brainwaves whenever the adult’s gaze met the infant’s, even through a TV screen.

This creates what researchers call “a joint networked state” that facilitates nonverbal communication between the two of them.

Interestingly, the two synced the most when the adult tilted their head away while maintaining eye contact.  The university team speculates that this body language signals a greater intent to communicate.

Infants demonstrated their intent to communicate by using ‘baby babble’.   Researchers measured how many vocalizations the infants made during the experiment.  As predicted, infants made more vocalizations when adults made direct eye contact – and had higher brain wave synchrony with the adult.

“Our findings suggested eye gaze and vocalisations may both, somehow, play a role,” said one of the study’s authors, Dr. Sam Wass.

“We don’t know what it is, yet, that causes this synchronous brain activity. We’re certainly not claiming to have discovered telepathy.”

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