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Re: apparent increase in loudness

> > Is this a known phenomenon?
> >
> Yes, to all mothers :-)
> --fatima

It does seem to be true that both the experience of parenthood and sex are
important factors in processing infant vocalizations.  We found that parents
show greater amygdala activation to cries than non-parents.  Females showed
neural deactivation in the anterior cingulate cortex in response to both
crying and laughing, while males were unaffected. 


Seifritz, Esposito, Neuhoff, Lüthi, Mustovic, Dammann, von Bardeleben,
Radue, Cirillo, Tedeschi, Di Salle (2003). Differential sex-independent
amygdala response to infant crying and laughing in parents versus
non-parents. Biological Psychiatry, 54, 1367 - 1375. 


Or the abridged version from Nature Science Update...


>From the abstract...

"Women but not men, independent of their parental
status, showed neural deactivation in the anterior
cingulate cortex, as indexed by decreased blood oxygenation
level– dependent signal, in response to both infant
crying and laughing. The response pattern changed fundamentally
with parental experience: in the amygdala and
interconnected limbic regions, parents (independent of
sex) showed stronger activation from crying, whereas
nonparents showed stronger activation from laughing."

John G. Neuhoff
Department of Psychology
The College of Wooster 
Wooster, OH 44691
Phone: 330-263-2475 
Fax: 928-244-5577

"Ecological Psychoacoustics"
from Academic Press June, 2004