Dr Pascal Vrticka (PhD)

Dr Pascal Vrticka (PhD)

Lecturer / Assistant Professor
Centre for Brain Science, Department of Psychology, University of Essex (Colchester, UK)

Short Introduction

Dr Pascal Vrticka is a social neuroscientist with strong ties to developmental & social psychology. His research focuses on the psychological, behavioural, biological, and brain basis of human social interaction, attachment and caregiving.
Besides measuring neurobiological responses to different kinds of social versus non-social information in single participants using (functional) magnetic resonance imaging ([f]MRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), Dr Vrticka most recently started to assess bio-behavioural synchrony in interacting pairs using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) hyperscanning. The main question thereby is how romantic partners and parents with their children get “in sync” when they solve problems together or talk to each other.
Dr Vrticka furthermore relates the obtained individual and dyadic behavioural, biological, and brain measures to interindividual differences in relationship quality – particularly attachment and caregiving. In doing so, he refers to attachment theory that provides a suitable theoretical framework on how we initiate and maintain interpersonal relationships across the life span. With his research, Dr Vrticka is promoting a new area of investigation: the social neuroscience of human attachment.

Additional Academic Roles

PI of the Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment Lab (SoNeAt Lab) at the Centre for Brain Sciences, Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Coordinating board president of the Special Interest Research Group (SIRG) Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment (SoNeAt) within the Society for Emotion and Attachment Studies (SEAS)

Associate Member of the Executive Board, Society for Emotion and Attachment Studies (SEAS)

Website Menu

Please find below a summary of available information on Dr Pascal Vrticka’s website with direct links to the corresponding sections.

Latest News and Announcements from the SoNeAt Lab and beyond

The Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment Lab (SoNeAt Lab): How to become involved (prospective students), current students & research topics, and student alumni & research topics

Description of the Special Interest Research Group (SIRG) on the Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment (SoNeAt)

Dr Pascal Vrticka’s current and past teaching

Description of SoNeAt Lab’s main field of research

Summary of other research topics that are also part of the SoNeAt Lab

Experimental methods used within the SoNeAt Lab

International collaboration partners of the SoNeAt Lab

List of Dr Pascal Vrticka’s publications

List of Dr Pascal Vrticka’s Talks and other kinds of Presentations

List of grants and awards Dr Pascal Vrticka has received

Dr Pascal Vrticka’s short biography & curriculum vitae

Dr Pascal Vrticka’s blog posts

Press reports about SoNeAt Lab’s research

Latest Tweets

Latest Blog Posts

Synced brains: how to bond with your kids – according to neuroscience

Coordinated brains. Jacob Lund/Shutterstock     Pascal Vrticka, University of Essex Many people across the world are still living under tough restrictions or lockdowns because of the pandemic, staying home as much as possible. This means that a lot of parents are spending more time than ever with their children. But how do you turnContinue Reading

How to stay socially connected as lockdown returns – according to science

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Pascal Vrticka, University of Essex and Philip J. Cozzolino, University of Essex After a fairly relaxed summer, more and more places are bringing back tighter restrictions in response to rising COVID-19 cases, with some even returning to full orContinue Reading

SoNeAt Workshop 2020 – A Virtual Conference on Attachment and Social Neuroscience

On August 12th and 13th 2020, 150 attachment researchers, psychologists, therapists, nurses, and members of non-profit organisations from around the globe (all the way from the west coast of Canada to central Australia) met during a virtual workshop with the title “70 Years of Attachment Research: A Multidisciplinary Social Neuroscience Perspective“. Workshop participants discussed theContinue Reading

Brains get “in sync” when mothers and children talk to each other

Engaging in a conversation is a highly complex social task with many implications for child development and wellbeing. The promotion of turn-taking during parent-child conversation is known to lead to higher social interaction quality. Conversely, low coordination and turn-taking during parent-child conversation are linked with atypical language development and other developmental difficulties in children. ButContinue Reading


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