About this Research Topic
Attachment is a biological emotion regulation-based system guiding cognitive and emotional processes with respect to intimate and significant relationships. Adverse attachment experiences like maltreatment, loss, and separation have long been known to have enduring consequences on human mental health. Research on the neurobiological basis of attachment started with animal studies focusing on emotional deprivation and its behavioral, molecular, and endocrine consequences.
More recently, the neurobiological basis of attachment in humans has been investigated using an array of different methodologies (fMRI, EEG, genetics, endocrinological probes, pharmacological manipulation using e.g., oxytocin). These studies have investigated attachment in relation to a range of other behavioral systems and developmental dimensions. For example, behavioral attachment systems such as caregiving, sexual, affiliative, as well as mentalization, and attachment representations. Most of these studies have focused on healthy populations, but recently there have been several attempts to shed light on the neural correlates of attachment processes in pathology.
In this Research Topic, we welcome original research and critical reviews that address issues in the neurobiological domain of any aspect of attachment highlight promising avenues for basic research related to developmental psychopathology or the translation of attachment studies into the clinical setting. In this way, we aim to achieve an interdisciplinary synthesis of existing knowledge and new perspectives on attachment, which may be fruitful to develop preventive and psychotherapeutic intervention.
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