Grandmothers may be more connected to grandchildren than to own offspring

First study to look at women’s brains finds more empathy activation when looking at pictures of grandchildren

They say that grandchildren are life’s greatest joy, and now the first study to examine grandmothers’ brain function has suggested grannies may be more emotionally connected to their grandkids than to their own sons and daughters.

Since the 1960s, researchers have posited that one reason women tend to live decades past their reproductive years is that it increases the chances of their grandchildren surviving, through the physical support they often provide – the grandmother hypothesis. More recent evidence has suggested that children’s wellbeing and educational performance is also boosted by the presence of engaged grandparents.

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