Researchers examined the neuropsychological activity of 39 pregnant women and new mothers as they looked at images of adult and baby faces with either positive or negative expressions.

The study used the chimeric faces test, which uses images made of one half of a neutral face combined with one half of an emotive face to see which side of the participants' brain is used to process positive and negative emotions.

"The results suggest that during pregnancy, there are changes in how the brain processes facial emotions that ensure that mothers are neurologically prepared to bond with their babies at birth," said Victoria Bourne of Royal Holloway, University of London.

It showed pregnant women use the right side of their brain more than new mothers do when they look at faces with emotive expressions.


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