How Crying Babies Keep Us Baby-Centered

For new moms, it’s practically a rite of passage the first time you endure sympathetic, sometimes glaring, looks from strangers as your baby wails in public. But let’s be honest: a shrieking baby can frazzle even the most patient of us, and it turns out it’s about more than just the noise.

A recent study by at the University of Toronto revealed the sound of a crying baby triggers the human brain to limit our ability to concentrate on anything but the crying—even when it’s not our baby.

The results showed that those who listened to the crying sound were slower, paid less attention, and experienced more ‘conflict processing’ than those who heard laughter.