Announcements & News

  • Paper Accepted

    January 20th 2020

    A new review paper with the title “A Functional Neuro-Anatomical Model of Human Attachment (NAMA): Insights from First- and Second-Person Social Neuroscience” has just been accepted by the journal Cortex. In this paper, we suggest a prototypical attachment pathway and elaborate on and extend the social neuroscience account of human attachment we proposed previously. More information will be made availabe here as soon as possible. Complete list of authors: Long, M., Verbeke, W., Ein-Dor, T., Vrtička, P.

  • New Appointment from March 2020

    December 22nd 2019

    I am very happy to announce that I will join the Centre for Brain Sciences, Department of Psychology, University of Essex as a Lecturer / Assistant Professor from March 2020. I will continue my research and teaching on the social neuroscience of human attachment with a special focus on fNIRS hyperscanning, but also use other social neuroscience methods with my international collaboration partners. Happy holidays 🙂

  • Paper Accepted / Published

    December 20th 2019

    The first paper of our three interdisciplinary and collaborative CARE studies on attachment and bio-behavioral synchrony in parent-child dyads has just been published in the journal Cortex:

    Nguyen, T., Kayhan, E., Schleihauf, H., Matthes, D., Vrtička, P., Hoehl, S. (2020; available online December 20th 2019).  The effects of interaction quality on neural synchrony during mother-child problem solvingCortex, Volume 124, Pages 235-249, ACCESS.

    Many thanks to Trinh Nguyen & Stefanie Hoehl (and the entire team from the University of Vienna & former Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig) for making this happen!

    A summary can be found in my blog post.

  • Completed Bachelor & Master’s Theses

    December 18th 2019

    Congratulations to Maria Karpova and Marko Talovic for successfully handing in their Theses. It was very nice having you with us and all the best for the future!

  • Paper Accepted / Published

    December 18th 2019

    Lara Puhlmann‘s second PhD paperOnly vulnerable adults show change in chronic low-grade inflammation after contemplative mental training: evidence from a randomized clinical trial” has just been published in Scientific Reports. It is open access and can be found here. Congratulations to this very important contribution to the literature!

  • Paper Accepted / Published

    September 25th 2019

    Huge congratulations to Lara Puhlmann for the publication of her first first-author paper as part of her PhD Thesis, investigating the “Association of Short-term Change in Leukocyte Telomere Length With Cortical Thickness and Outcomes of Mental Training Among Healthy Adults: A Randomized Clinical Trial“. The paper is published open access in the journal JAMA Network Open. A press release can be found here.

  • Completed Master’s Theses

    September 15th 2019

    Congratulations to Rocio Fernandez and Nele Becker for successfully handing in their Master’s Theses. I wish you all the best of luck for your future endeavors!

  • Accepted Symposium Contribution

    September 2nd 2019

    As part of a symposium on: “Crucial elements of social understanding and relationship quality- implications for mental health” at this year’s First official European Congress on Clinical Psychology and Psychological Treatment of (EACLIPT) organized by the DFG Network “Understanding Others“, I will be asking the question: “Inter-brain coherence during parent-child interaction: a new measure for relationship quality?”. The symposium will take place on Friday, November 1st 2019 at 08:30.

  • Organized Symposium & Poster Presentation

    September 2nd 2019

    A symposium that I organized at this year’s Joint Conference of the Sections Developmental & Educational Psychology (paEpsy) 2019 within the German Psychological Society (DGPs) will feature five talks by Laura Schäfer, Lars White, Margarete Schött, Trinh Nguyen, and myself on the topic of: “Attachment Theory meets Social Neuroscience: The Biological and Brain Basis of Human Attachment”. Meet us on Monday, September 9 at 15:30 in room SR 125.

    There will also be a poster presentation by PhD student Charlotte Schulz on: “Roles of Threat and Deprivation in Neural Reactivity to Social Exclusion” on Tuesday, September 10 at 12:45 in Hörsaal Süd.

  • Poster Presentation

    September 2nd, 2019

    Lara Puhlmann presented data from her PhD work as a poster at this year’s International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE) annual conference in Milan (Italy): P 061 – “Different types of mental practice unspecifically reduce cortisol and cortisone exposure in hair”.

  • Completed Master’s Thesis

    July 10th 2019

    Congratulations to Madison Long for successfully submitting her Master thesis with the title “Connecting Inter-Individual Differences in Attachment to Hypothalamic Volume in Fathers” as part of a cooperation between Leiden University, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognition and Brain Sciences (Leipzig, Germany). I am very much looking forward to the final paper that will hopefully soon emerge from this work.

  • Invited Organized Symposium & New SIRG SoNeAt

    June 19th 2019

    I am pleased to announce an invited symposium on “The Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment” at this year’s International Attachment Conference (IAC) from July 18-20 in Vancouver, Canada. The symposium will be featuring contributions by Nicole Letourneau (University of Calgary, Canada), David W. Haley (University of Toronto, Canada), Lane Strathearn (University of Iowa, USA), and myself.

    I am also very happy to announce that at this occasion, I will have the privilege of launching a new Special Interest Research Group (SIRG) on the Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment (SoNeAt) within the Society for Emotion and Attachment Studies (SEAS). More information is available here.

  • Accepted Symposium Contribution

    June 19th 2019

    I can present our collaborative fNIRS hyperscanning research on parent-child interaction in the form of a symposium contribution (S-64) entitled “Parenting, brain development and developmental psychopathology” at this year’s 18th Congress of the European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ESCAP). My contribution is entitled: “Does caregiver-child relationship quality predict bio-behavioral synchrony during collaborative problem solving? An fNIRS investigation“.

  • Accepted Oral & Poster Presentation

    March 13th 2019

    Congratulations to Lara Puhlmann who had one of her PhD projects on the association between brain structure and telomere length fluctuations over nine months accepted as both a poster presentation and oral presentation at this year’s Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) annual meeting 2019 (June 9-13 in Rome). Awesome!

  • Accepted Twitter Conference Contribution

    March 4th 2019

    I can present our recently published fNIRS hyperscanning data in mother-child-dyads in association with attachment acquired at Stanford University (see also my recent blog) at this year’s 3rd Brain Twitter Conference (; #brainTC) with the overarching topic “neuroscience making an impact” on March 14 . The slot for my presentation is 11:15 am UTC. Here is a link to the presentation.

  • Completed Master’s Thesis

    February 15th 2019

    Congratulations to Sonja Sudimac for successfully defending her Master thesis today (in collaboration with the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern). Sonja worked on fMRI data from our D-CARE study investigating the neural correlates of attachment in fathers. All the best for the future!

  • Paper Accepted

    December 26th 2018

    A new Paper entitled “Inter-Brain Synchrony in Mother-Child Dyads During Cooperation: An fNIRS Hyperscanning Study” authored by Jonas Miller, myself,  Xu Cui, Sharon Shrestha, Hadi Hosseini, Joe Baker & Allan Reiss (CIBSR, Stanford University) has just been accepted in the journal Neuropsychologia. More information will follow soon (the paper can be downloaded  from my publications page; see also my blog post about this project).

  • Organized Symposium Accepted

    December 20th 2018

    A Conference Sympsium co-organized by myself and Stefanie Hoehl with the title “The Influence of Parent-Child Interaction on Child Development: a Multi-Modal Social Neuroscience Approach” with presentations by Cat Thrasher (University of Virginia), Victoria Leong (University of Singapore & University of Cambridge), and Trinh Nguyen (University of Vienna) has been accepted for next year’s biennial SCRD meeting in Baltimore. My own contribution has the title: “Towards a Social Neuroscience of Parent-Child Interaction: An Attachment Perspective“.

  • Symposium Contribution Accepted

    December 20th 2018

    A Conference Sympsium Contribution with the title “The Neural Substrates of Attachment-Derived Internal Working Models (IWMs) across Human Development” by myself, Allan Reiss (Stanford University), and Martin Debbane (University of Geneva) has been accepted for next year’s biennial SCRD meeting in Baltimore as part of the Symposium “Attachment and social cognition – a bio-psychological perspective from infancy to early adulthood” chaired by Anne Tharner and Lars White. More information will follow.

  • Two Poster Presentations Accepted

    December 13th 2018

    Two Conference Poster Presentations by my Master students Madison Long and Sonja Sudimac on (f)MRI data being acquired within the context of our collaborative D-CARE study have been accepted for next year’s 7th MindBrainBody Symposium to be held from March 18-19, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Madison and Sonja will be presenting data on associations between attachment and brain structure & activity in fathers.  

Older News

November 27, 2018:
A Conference Poster Presentation showcasing the first results of our collaborative CARE fNIRS study (by Trinh Nguyen, Ezgi Kayan, Hanna Schleihauf, Daniel Matthes, myself, and Stefanie Hoehl) was accepted at next year’s Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development (BCCCD 2019) from January 3-5, 2019. The title of the presentation will be: “Bio-Behavioural Synchrony during Caregiver-Child Problem-Solving“. 

September 26, 2018:
A new Longitudinal Cohort Study – Project Alpha – has been set up by my collaboration partner Tsachi Ein-Dor in Israel, financed by private funding. 1’500 young couples will be followed, including pregnancy and child development, and several variables related to relationship quality & satisfaction as well as child development will be acquired over a duration of several years, including epigenetics. More news will follow shortly.

September 26, 2018:
A new International Collaboration Research Project with Willem Verbeke, Tsachi Ein-Dor, Michal MokryMarinus van IJzendoorn, and Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg can take place in 2018/2019 at Erasmus University Rotterdam assessing a subset of the data acquired within the longitudinal Dutch Generation R Study. A special focus will be directed towards genetic and longitudinal epigenetic data in over 600 children in combination with their attachment orientation classification at age 14 months using the strange situation paradigm.

September 10, 2018:
A new Research Project financed by the Max Planck Society on mother-child-interaction (M-CARE) can take place during the year 2019 at the MPI CBS in Leipzig, Germany. Methods will comprise behavioral assessment plus fMRI, fNIRS, and ECG in 60 mother-child-pairs with children aged 5 years. 

August 21, 2018:
A new Open Access Paper entitled “Spatio-Temporal Pattern of Appraising Social and Emotional Relevance: Evidence from Event-Related Brain Potentials” authored by Annekathrin Schacht (University of Göttingen, Germany), and myself, has been published online in the  journal Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience. It can be downloaded here.

July 07, 2018:
I was invited as a Keynote Speaker to the conference “The Future of Neuroscience, Attachment and Mentalizing: from research to clinical practice” to be held on May 18 and 19, 2019, at University College London. This conference will be one of the first conferences to explicitly focus on the application of neuroscience and neurobiology to clinical issues. Another aim of the conference is further exchange between practitioners and leading experts in affective neuroscience. More information is available here

June 20, 2018: I was invited as a Conference Speaker to the seventh “Visions in Science” annual interdisciplinary scientific event organized by members of the Max Planck PhDnet, the communication network for PhD Students of the Max Planck Society. The conference – held in Berlin from October 5-7, 2018 – is open to all junior scientists of the Max Planck Society, as well as of other university and non-university institutions. This years’ topic is “Science & Society”, and I will be talking about “Social Neuroscience” and how this field of research is shaping society in direct and indirect ways. More information is available here.

June 11, 2018: A Conference Poster entitled “Does a Nine-Month Contemplative Mental Training Intervention in Healthy Adults Influence Leukocyte Telomere Length?” by Lara Puhlmann, myself, and Tania Singer was accepted at this year’s 48th Annual International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology Conference (ISPNE) in Ivrine, California, from September 6-8, 2018.

May 05, 2018: A Conference Symposium I am co-organizing with Melanie Kungl (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany) entitled “The Quality of Social Interactions within Parent-Child and Adult-Dyads: What are the influencing Factors in the Context of Attachment Theory? [Title in German: Qualität sozialer Interaktionen in Eltern-Kind- und Erwachsenen-Dyaden: Welches sind die beeinflussenden Faktoren im Rahmen der Bindungstheorie?]” with additional contributions by Margund Rohr (University of Leipzig, Germany), Sandra Gabler (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany), and Sabine Heinisch (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany),  was accepted at this year’s Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs – German Society for Psychology) in Frankfurt from September 15-20, 2018. More information here.

May 05, 2018: A Conference Poster entitled “Does Telomere Length Change after a Nine-Month Contemplative Mental Training Intervention in Healthy Adult Participants?” by Lara Puhlmann, myself, and Tania Singer was accepted at this year’s Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs – German Society for Psychology) in Frankfurt from September 15-20, 2018. More information to follow here.

March 26, 2018: A new Open Access Paper entitled “Neural correlates of socio-emotional perception in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome” authored by Lydia Dubourg, myself, Martin Debbané, Léa Chambaz, Stephan Eliez & Maude Schneider (University of Geneva, Switzerland) has just been published online in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. It can be downloaded here.

March 13, 2018: A new Open Access Paper entitled “Change in Emotional Self-Concept following Socio-Cognitive Training relates to Structural Plasticity of the Prefrontal Cortex” authored by Anna-Lena Lumma (Department of Psychology, University of Witten, Germany), Sofie Valk (Forschungszentrüm Jülich, Germany), Anne Böckler (University of Würzburg, Germany), myself, and Tania Singer (MPI CBS, Leipzig, Germany) has just been published online in Brain and Behavior. It can be downloaded here.

March 7, 2018: A new Open Access Paper entitled “Epigenetic Modification of the Oxytocin and Glucocorticoid Receptor Genes is linked to Attachment Avoidance in young Adults” co-authored by Tsachi Ein-Dor (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel), Willem Verbeke ( Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands), and Michal Mokry (University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands) has just been published online in Attachment & Human Development. It can be downloaded here.

March 01, 2018: A Conference Symposium I am organizing entitled “The Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment” with contributions by Madelon Hendricx-Riem (Tilburg University, The Netherlands), Anna Linda Leutritz (Clinical Affective Neuroimaging Laboratory, Magdeburg, Germany), Lars Otto White (Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Leipzig, Germany), Trinh Nguyen (Department of Psychology, University of Vienna), and myself was accepted for this year’s 4th International Conference of the European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (ESCAN 2018) in Leiden, The Netherlands, from July 19-22. More information here.

February 20, 2018: A Conference Symposium Contribution entitled “Face-to-face and brain-to-brain: Effects of maternal attachment, caregiving, and sensitivity on mother-child neural synchrony” by Trinh Nguyen (Department of Psychology, University of Vienna), Ezgi Kayan (MPI CBS, Leipzig, Germany), Daniel Matthes (MPI CBS, Leipzig, Germany), myself, and Stefanie Hoehl (Department of Psychology, University of Vienna) as part of the symposium entitled “Building bridges across minds and brains: Using live paradigms to elucidate interpersonal neurocognitive processes in infancy”  was accepted at this year’s International Congress of Infant Studies (ICIS) conference 2018 in Philadelphia from June 30 – July 3.

January 29, 2018: A new Research Project financed by the Max Planck Society on father-child-interaction (D-CARE) can take place during the year 2018 at the MPI CBS in Leipzig, Germany. Methods will comprise behavioral assessment plus fMRI, fNIRS, and ECG in 60 father-child-pairs with children aged 5 years.

January 9, 2018: My Open Conference Paper submission entitled “Spatio-Temporal Pattern of Appraising Social and Emotional Relevance: Evidence from Event-Related Brain Potentials” together with Annekathrin Schacht (University of Göttingen, Germany) was accepted for this year’s Consortium of European Research on Emotion (CERE) conference 2018 in Glasgow, UK, from April 4-5. More information here