Most men become broody as soon as they get involved in a relationship, a new study has revealed.
On the other hand, "men may be worried about their partner's desire for children, and their increased attention to infant stimuli is based on apprehension and the need to be more guarded", said Ruth Feldman of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, who led the research.
Feldman's team used electroencephalography to monitor the brain activity of 65 volunteers, including new parents, new lovers and singles as they viewed pictures of infants - including the parents' own babies - along with neutral pictures, the New Scientist reported.
When viewing unfamiliar babies, parents and new lovers showed greater activation of brain areas linked with parenting, like the nucleus accumbens, anterior cingulate and amygdala, as compared to singles. When parents were viewing their own kid, the response was even larger.
"This suggests that even though the lovers don't know it, they are physiologically getting ready to respond to infants," said Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in New York, author of Why We Love. It also topples a general assumption that men are less interested in babies than women. "It shows that we really don't understand men," added Fisher.