A new study published in the journal PLoS Computational Biology, has tried to unravel the mystery on how breast feeding is linked to the strong emotional bond that a mother and her child share. The findings were basically regarding the relationship between breast feeding and the emotion that is produced in the mother thereafter.
When a baby is breast-fed, a hormone named oxytocindefine is released in huge amounts from the mammary gland which produces a feeling of trust and love in the mother. This very emotion makes the mother understand her baby’s needs and to know whether they are fulfilled or not.
Scientists have for long been puzzled because in order to produce such a reflex, very large amount of oxytocin is needed. But now they have found out that breast feeding is not only involved in making the brain cells secrete oxytocin but it also works towards recruiting dendrites into secreting the hormone. The main job of dendrites is to create communication channels between various brain cells.
All this helps in increasing the communication between neurons which further helps in creating a region of oxytocin that results in releasing a flood of the hormone at regular intervals.
A special computer model was used in the research which involved researchers from China, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. The people involved believe that this research can help give a plausible explanation for other related activities in the brain.
Jianfeng Feng of the University of Warwick in Coventry in the United Kingdom said, “We knew that these pulses arise because, during suckling, oxytocin neurons fire together in dramatic synchronized bursts. But exactly how these bursts arise has been a major problem that has until now eluded explanation.”
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