Attachment Brain Imaging Epigenetics fMRI fNIRS Neuroscience Psychology

Why Attachment Matters in Social Neuroscience

Dr Pascal Vrticka has written a new blog post for Scottish Attachment in Action, a UK registered charity since 2015 with a Board of Trustees consisting of practitioners, parents and carers that represent their mission that ‘Attachment Matters for All’.

In his blog post, Dr Vrticka explains the growing interest in better understanding the neurobiological underpinnings of human attachment that gave rise to a new area of research, the Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment (SoNeAt). He then shows that a SoNeAt approach to attachment does not only provide added value, but that the research methods this approach involves should be regarded as independent and integral tools that are necessary to fully capture the complex nature of attachment. Dr Vrticka continues by referring to the first neuro-anatomical model of human attachment (NAMA) as a very good starting point to learn about SoNeAt’s considerations. Finally, he points out the importance of translating the scientific findings obtained within SoNeAt for the benefit of as many people as possible, with a first very nice example being the BabyGro Book for Parents.

▶The full blog post can be freely accessed here.

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.

1 comment on “Why Attachment Matters in Social Neuroscience

  1. Pingback: The insecurely attached brain: How early social interactions can shape adult brain function – Dr Pascal Vrticka (PhD, FHEA)

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