Joerg Sarbach, Associated Press
FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008 file photo, a baby cries in its bed in a hospital in Bremen, northern Germany. According to as study released on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the way a mother responds to her crying baby seems to be programmed into her brain circuits. Researchers found that mothers across many cultures tend to react the same way to an infant’s cry, and brain scans showed that this distressing sound activates circuitry associated with such responses.

NEW YORK — A new study suggests that crying babies push the same "buttons" in their mothers' brains no matter what their culture.

The research found that mothers in a variety of countries tend to react the same way to their bawling child — by picking up and talking to the baby. And brain scans suggested that response may be programmed into their brain circuits.

The results were published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers watched 684 mothers in 11 countries react to their own crying children. And they scanned the brains of mothers in the U.S., China and Italy.