Research Topic

Understanding the Socio-emotional and Socio-cognitive Developmental Pathways in Children with Sensory Impairment

About this Research Topic

The development of socio-emotional and socio-cognitive abilities in childhood are critical milestones of human development. Research to date highlights that both socio-emotional and socio-cognitive skills start to emerge early during infancy and specific precursors of affect regulation and theory of mind can ...

The development of socio-emotional and socio-cognitive abilities in childhood are critical milestones of human development. Research to date highlights that both socio-emotional and socio-cognitive skills start to emerge early during infancy and specific precursors of affect regulation and theory of mind can be traced back to the first months of life. Relevant to this development is the quality of caregiving and especially the possibility to experience sensitive, contingent, and positive parental behaviors. Indeed, it is within the relational framework of parent-infant interactions that the child can mature the capacity to cope with emotional stress, share intentional communications, developmental representations of herself and the other, understand the other’s intentions, and so on. In other words, the early social context of parenting appears to be essential for adequate socio-emotional and socio-cognitive development in humans.

Nonetheless, the early parent-infant relational engagement largely depends on the possibility to share by the interactive partners' perceptual and sensorial inputs and outputs. From this early interaction, a sense of togetherness is obtained, and mutual regulation processes arise. So, what happens when the infant presents sensory impairments? For example, how alterations in visual, somatosensory and hearing functioning can affect the early foundation of socio-emotional and socio-cognitive development in humans?

The present Research Topic aims to collect evidence from researchers who are engaged in studying socio-emotional and socio-cognitive development in infants and children with sensory impairment. Moreover, we accept studies conducted on healthy subjects if sensory processes (e.g., social touch and maternal voice) are specifically investigated within the context of infants’ socio-emotional and socio-cognitive development. By increasing our understanding of these dynamics, we aim at improving the quality of care for these infants and families as well as at promoting scientific knowledge on key developmental pathways for human beings. Indeed, on the one hand, these findings can provide relevant insights for evidence-based rehabilitation programs, for improving the social skills of children with sensory impairments and for effectively supporting parents. On the other hand, getting a more in-depth knowledge of socio-emotional and socio-cognitive developmental in infants with sensory impairment can shed new light on the precursors and mechanisms that are involved even in typical development.

We welcome original research papers reporting on:
• Socio-emotional and socio-cognitive development (e.g., interactive behavior, emotional regulation, social cognition, stress response, and parent-infant relationship) in infants and children with sensory impairment.
• The role of social sensory processes (e.g., social touch, maternal voice) in healthy subjects.
• Animal model studies are also welcome if they provide evidence of mechanisms potentially involved in socio-emotional and socio-cognitive development in the presence of sensory impairment.

Contributions from intersecting disciplines as well as from an integrated team of researchers and clinicians will be especially valued. Finally, different types of manuscripts (i.e., mini-review, original research, protocols, perspective, review) will be considered, provided that they are consistent with the aims of the research topic.

Picture courtesy of the Guest Editors Livio Provenzi, Monica Gori, Sabrina Signorini, & Laura Maffongelli


Keywords: socio-emotional, socio-cognitive, developmental, sensory impairment


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

09 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

09 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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