Fatherhood can reshape a man's brain and bring about hormonal changes by
creating a "baby sense" that is typical to moms, study suggests.
Researchers have found out that both fathers' and mothers' brains use a
similar neural circuitry when it comes to taking care of their children.
Fathers exhibit the same patterns of cognitive and emotional engagement
witnessed in moms while nurturing their children.
Researchers examined brain activity in 89 new parents as they were made to
watch videos including some that featured their own children.
The study encompassed mothers who were primary caregivers of their children,
fathers who assisted in childcare and gay fathers who raised their children all
alone in the picture.
All the above three groups showed active signs of emotional processing and
social understanding in the corresponding brain networks.
Interestingly, fathers who actively engaged in bringing up their children as
primary caregivers displayed the same level of emotional processing as seen in
primary caregiver moms.
The findings indicate there's a parenting brain network common to both
sexes, 'Live Science' reported.
Fathers also experience hormonal changes with respect to hormones such as
estrogen, oxytocin, prolactin and glucocorticoids according to a recent review
of studies undertaken by psychologists from Princeton University.
The new study was published in
the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.