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Smelling fear on mother teaches babies also to fear, study says
Smelling fear on mother teaches babies also to fear, study says

How is it that a child of a Holocaust survivor can suffer nightmares or flashbacks from experiences he never had, or a parent with pathological fears can pass them along to a child? Odor is just one of the cues that mothers use to "teach" their offspring about what they need to fear in a dangerous world, researchers say in a paper published Monday in the journal PNAS. Although such maternal cues are intended to help offspring adapt to their environment, they can also cause problems if the caregiver suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, the authors say. "Infants can learn from maternal expression of fear, very early in life," said Dr. Jacek Debiec, lead...