Special Issue on “The Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment”

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

General Information

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. This work combines a variety of biological and brain measures with theory and behavioural assessment of interpersonal relationship quality derived from the overarching 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 overall aim thereby is to elucidate whether and how social neuroscience may advance attachment theory during the 21st century.

Priority was 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 also encouraged short reviews or commentaries on the state-of-the-art of the field and its future directions. The main focus of all contributions is geared towards the association between interindividual 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-person social neuroscience designs.


Key Dates

Deadline for pre-submission inquiries: 30 September 2019.
Initial deadline for full submissions: 29 February 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 2021.


Published Paper Contributions (Online first)

Adult attachment is related to maternal neural response to infant cues: An ERP study
Amanda F. Lowell, Jaclyn Dell, Marc N. Potenza, Lane Strathearn, Linda C. Mayes, & Helena J. V. Rutherford
Accepted 18 January 2021, Published online 01 February 2021
https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2021.1880057

The Significance of Mothers’ Attachment Representations for Vagal Responding During Interactions with Infants
Nanxi Xu & Ashley M. Groh
Accepted 31 December 2020, Published online 22 January 2021
https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2021.1876615

Brain responses to social cues of attachment in mid-childhood
Schoett Margerete J.S., Basten Ulrike, Deichmann Ralf, Fiebach Christian J.#, Fischmann Tamara# (# =shared senior authorship)
Accepted 30 September 2020, Published online 19 January 2021
https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2020.1840791

Probing the association between maternal anxious attachment style and mother-child brain-to brain coupling during passive co-viewing of visual stimuli
Atiqah Azhari, Giulio Gabrieli, Andrea Bizzego, Marc H. Bornstein & Gianluca Esposito
Accepted 02 October 2020, Published online 28 December 2020
https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2020.1840790


Accepted Papers (In Press)

Attachment Dimensions and Cortisol Responses During the Strange Situation Among Young Children Adopted Internationally
Nila Shakiba & K. Lee Raby
Accepted 09 February 2021