Special Issue on “The Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment”

Special Issue on “The Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment” in the Journal Attachment & Human Development

Together with the SoNeAt coordinating board members Melanie Kungl and Lars White, coordinating board president Pascal Vrticka is guest-editing a special issue on “The Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment” in the Journal Attachment & Human Development.

Social Neuroscience has recently emerged as a new multi-level and multi-method field of inquiry at the interface of neuroscience and psychology. In parallel, since the early 2000s, a growing number of investigators have started examining the putative biological and brain basis of human attachment. Their work combines a variety of biological and brain measures with theory and behavioral assessment of interpersonal relationship quality derived from the developmental psychology framework of attachment theory.

In this special issue, we would like to highlight the newest developments of this still very young field of research, point to its remaining questions and unresolved issues, and delineate possible avenues for the future – also in terms of practical applications related to prevention and intervention strategies in a clinical context. The overarching aim thereby is to elucidate whether and how social neuroscience may advance attachment theory during the 21st century.

Priority will be given to submissions reporting original empirical work involving biological and/or neural measures and their links with validated procedures used to identify inter-individual differences in attachment across the lifespan. We are also encouraging short reviews or commentaries on the state-of-the-art of the field and its future directions. The main focus of all contributions should be geared towards the association between inter-individual differences in attachment (including trauma and disorganization), and how they manifest on a biological (genetics, epigenetics, endocrinology, physiology, etc.) and/or neural (brain anatomy, function, connectivity, etc.) level, using both first- as well as second- and/or multi-person social neuroscience designs.

The deadline for pre-submission inquiries has already passed (September 30, 2019) and full submissions were invited until February 29, 2020. We are now in the review and revision process. Articles will be published online upon acceptance and the complete printed special issue is to be published later in 2020/21.