Special Issue “Towards a Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment”

Special Issue “Towards a Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment”

General Information

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

The special issue was published as Volume 25, Issue 1 (2023).

The introduction article “Charting the Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment” by the three guest editors Lars White, Melanie Kungl & Pascal Vrticka is available online (free access) here.

Social Neuroscience has recently emerged as a new multi-level and multi-method field of inquiry at the interface of biology/neuroscience and psychology. In parallel, since the early 2000s, a growing number of investigations have started examining the putative biological and brain basis of human attachment. The latter work combines a variety of biological and brain measures with theory and behavioural assessment of social interaction and relationship quality derived from the overarching psychology framework of attachment theory to form the social neuroscience of human attachment.

In this special issue, we would like to highlight the newest developments of this still very young area 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 within the 21st century.

Priority was given to submissions reporting original empirical work involving biological and/or neural measures and their links with validated procedures used to identify interindividual 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 disorganisation), and how they manifest on a biological (genetics, epigenetics, endocrinology, physiology, etc.) and/or neural (brain anatomy, function, connectivity, etc.) level, using both 1st- as well as 2nd-person social neuroscience approaches.

Key Dates

Deadline for pre-submission inquiries: 30 September 2019.
Initial deadline for full submissions: 29 February 2020.
Special issue complete: 23 September 2022.

All accepted articles were published online first (see below).

Published Paper Contributions (online first – reverse chronological order)

Introduction article to the Special Issue
Charting the Social Neuroscience of Human Attachment (SoNeAt)
Lars White, Melanie Kungl & Pascal Vrticka
Accepted 11 January 2023, Published online 02 February 2023

LINK: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14616734.2023.2167777

Deactivating attachment strategies associate with early processing of facial emotion and familiarity in middle childhood: An ERP study
Melanie Kungl#, Pascal Vrticka#, Christine Heinisch, Matthias W. Beckmann, Peter A. Fasching, Clara Ziegler, Gottfried Spangler (# =shared first authorship)
Accepted 23 September 2022, Published online 12 October 2022

LINK: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2022.2132050

Association between Attachment Anxiety and the Gaze Direction-Related N170
Nicolas Burra & Pascal Vrticka
Accepted 09 June 2022, Published online 04 August 2022

LINK: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2022.2091337

Longitudinal associations between self-reported attachment dimensions and neurostructural development from adolescence to early adulthood
Lara Puhlmann, Mélodie Derome, Larisa Morosan, Deniz Kilicel, Pascal Vrtička, Martin Debbané
Accepted 08 September 2021, Published online 03 November 2021

LINK: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2021.1993628

Associations of Peripheral Blood DNA Methylation and Estimated Monocyte Proportion Differences During Infancy with Toddler Attachment Style
Sarah M. Merrill, Nicole Gladish, Maggie P. Fu1, Sarah R. Moore, Chaini Konwar, Gerald F. Giesbrecht, Julia L. MacIssac, Michael S. Kobor, and Nicole L. Letourneau
Accepted 28 May 2021, Published online 01 July 2021

LINK: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2021.1938872

Parental Support and Insecure Attachment Development: The Cortisol Stress Response as a Moderator
Melisse Houbrechts, Bien Cuyvers, Luc Goossens, Patricia Bijttebier, Anne Sophie Bröhl, Filip Calders, Viktoriia Chubar, Stephan Claes, Flore Geukens, Karla Van Leeuwen, Wim Van Den Noortgate, Sofie Weyn & Guy Bosmans
Accepted 07 March 2021, Published online 19 April 2021

LINK: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2021.1907968

Multisystem Physiological Reactivity During Help-Seeking for Attachment Needs in School-aged Children: Differences as a Function of Attachment
Jessica L. Borelli, Gerin Gaskin Patricia Smiley, Debbie Chung, Ben Shahar, & Guy Bosmans
Accepted 09 March 2021, Published online 15 April 2021

LINK: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2021.1913874

Attachment Dimensions and Cortisol Responses During the Strange Situation Among Young Children Adopted Internationally
Nila Shakiba & K. Lee Raby
Accepted 09 February 2021, Published online 15 March 2021

LINK: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2021.1896445

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

LINK: 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

LINK: 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

LINK: 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

LINK: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616734.2020.1840790