Science may have finally figured out why women are often seized by the urge to eat newborn babies.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal has concluded that the smell of infants triggers a physiological response in mothers similar to that experienced by hungry people presented with a delicious meal.
“The olfactory — thus non-verbal and non-visual — chemical signals for communication between mother and child are intense,” Johannes Frasnelli, a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the University of Montreal’s Department of Psychology, said in a statement. “What we have shown for the first time is that the odor of newborns, which is part of these signals, activates the neurological reward circuit in mothers. These circuits may especially be activated when you eat while being very hungry, but also in a craving addict receiving his drug. It is in fact the sating of desire.”
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