A new study found out that humans and primate mothers prefer to cradle their babies in the left arm as opposed to the right one. There was a strong bias that was explained by the dominance of the right hemisphere of brain in social processing. Apparently, signals from the left eye are received by right half of the brain so the bias for left side eventually leads to more effective monitoring of visual cues. This would help in picking up facial expressions and thus, promoting a much better mother-baby bonding.
The preference of left side in mother-infant bonding has now been studied in 11 different species of free ranging marine and terrestrial mammals. Kangaroos, antelope, reindeer, infant whales were among the many that were studied. Another important point to note was mothers showing this preference more during the times of stress. Both mother and baby pick up these visual cues from their right hemisphere. The right hemisphere promotes optimal processing of social information and helps in understanding many aspects of social behaviour.
The research was led by Andrey Giljov, Yegor Malashichev and Karina Karenina from St.Petersburg State University in Russia. They conducted around 11 research expeditions spanning different continents between 2012 and 2016. The study has helped in understanding how we have evolved and our behavioral traits.
By: Neha Maheshwari