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Medical Why do we smile when looking at babies?

  1. Nov 30, 2005 #1

    Mk

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Baby.jpg
    This picture illustrates the irresistible human urge for people to smile when they see an infant of their own kind. It took me about ten tries, seriously, to not smile. Its so hard. I also thinks its works better with females, or maybe they just down hold it back as much.
     
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  3. Nov 30, 2005 #2

    Mk

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    I also began to think his right leg was amputated.
     
  4. Dec 1, 2005 #3
    10 TRIES .HHMMMM
    so ...do u smile at crying or non crying babies or both .
    maybe u feel over comfortable wen looking at a baby .
     
  5. Dec 1, 2005 #4

    DaveC426913

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    OK, now that made me smile.
     
  6. Dec 1, 2005 #5

    somasimple

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    Hi all,

    It is called empathy. It works even better with our own children. It is a protective behaviour.
    It is knwon also that it works better for women.
     
  7. Dec 1, 2005 #6
    his leg was bent behind the thigh... lol :rofl:

    the human subconcious does alot of things to us. why do we feel good inside when we see the person we love?
     
  8. Dec 1, 2005 #7

    Math Is Hard

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    Babies are boring. And it's a scientific fact that they're stupid. I'm not sure why anyone likes them.
     
  9. Dec 1, 2005 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    When I see a baby, I usually wince at the gooey something or other hanging from somewhere; or the stinky something or other... :biggrin:
     
  10. Dec 1, 2005 #9
    I think I smile because I see a life that has the hope and potential of changing the world for the better.
     
  11. Dec 2, 2005 #10

    Mk

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    I think I smile cause I'm a pedophile. :tounge2:
     
  12. Dec 6, 2005 #11
    I think i smile ..because babies are so innocent..they are unaffected by societies views and stardards...and if u care and love them they will love u back..they are almost perfect.
     
  13. Dec 6, 2005 #12

    somasimple

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    It is true and false.
    It is true because its mind is empty.
    It is false because this void is a gift of evolution. It gives us all chances to create better minds/behaviours. It is why we are the more adaptable race.
     
  14. Dec 6, 2005 #13

    PerennialII

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    Could argue that the mind of a baby is the 'wisest' out there, no 'degeneration' yet :tongue2: (in for example philosophical sense the mind of a child is in many respects 'optimal' - a sort of an overman).

    I think I smile (other than unconsciously) due to the same innocence as alias25 pointed.
     
  15. Dec 6, 2005 #14

    Evo

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    Yep, I'm missing that baby loving gene. Human babies do nothing for me.

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: OMG, That brought tears to my eyes!!!!

    "Babies, the study concluded, are also too stupid to do the following: avoid getting their heads trapped in automatic car windows; use ice to alleviate the pain of burn injuries resulting from touching an open flame; master the skills required for scuba diving; and use a safety ladder to reach a window to escape from a room filled with cyanide gas."

    I love it!!! :rofl:
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2005
  16. Dec 6, 2005 #15

    somasimple

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    Hi,

    No, jusk "blank" about human nature (that's quite the same). :wink:
     
  17. Dec 6, 2005 #16
    oxytocin

    Oxytocin in one of the hormones that makes us so attracted to babies. It is the same hormone released when women start lactating. Apparently women have more neural receptors for oxytocin (and even more are made during pregnancy) (http://www.princeton.edu/~anscombe/articles/rhoads.html).Oxytocin has lots of other roles in bonding too. Other hormones also play a role. For example, high testosterone tends to inhibit oxytocin. I'm not sure on the mechanism. Gotta look it up.
     
  18. Dec 6, 2005 #17

    hypnagogue

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    Evolutionarily speaking, it is not too hard to come up with a plausible explanation. We smile when looking at babies because it is to our evolutionary advantage to regard infants with positive mentality, which might include positive/pleasant emotions, which would then be associated with smiling facial expressions.

    As for actual neurochemical mechanisms-- oxytocin does play a role in social bonding (of many kinds), particularly in females, but its role seems to be more facilitory than primary, as it works in conjunction with other neurochemicals to exert its social effects and seems to be most important for laying down conditions favorable to the development/learning of social bonds rather than to the actual maintenance of such bonds. For instance, introducing opiates into the brain automatically sets off pleasure circuits in the brain leading to an experience of pleasure, but introducing higher levels of oxytocin does not seem have such a direct/overt/immediate effect on experience or behavior.

    For instance, in the monogamous prairie vole, pair bonding is promoted by the interaction of oxytocin and dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. Blocking dopamine in the nucleus accumbens of prairie voles prevents them from forming pair bonds. Also, blocking oxytocin can prevent the formation of mother/infant bonding in primates, but blocking oxytocin after the requisite learning has taken place has no effect on how the mother treats the child.

    So oxytocin does play a role, but probably a more limited and context-sensitive one than one might think otherwise. If smiling upon seeing babies is related to feeling positive emotions, I would suspect the 'primary' mover behind the emotion/facial expression is dopamine (mediates 'wanting') and/or endogenous opioids (mediates 'liking').
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2005
  19. Dec 6, 2005 #18

    Math Is Hard

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    Same here. But for some reason I do get pretty goo-goo over baby animals. Especially little kitties. I can't resist them.
     
  20. Dec 6, 2005 #19

    Astronuc

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    I love kids and animals, so I smile at children, probably until they are teenagers. :biggrin:

    I also tend to smile at people in general. :smile: :biggrin:

    I get along with dogs and cats, even those whose owner says they are shy of strangers.
     
  21. Dec 6, 2005 #20
    So that explains the mysterious teenage girl phenomena in the presence of a baby whereby suddenly an entire group of teenage girls all sighs at the same time and in a unison high-pitched voice, say "Ohh/Ahh how cute!!!" :biggrin: I've always wondered about that.
     
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