Research Topic

Neuroscience of Human Attachment

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Attachment is a biologically 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. ...

Attachment is a biologically 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. behavioral attachment systems: 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 in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience we welcome original research and critical reviews that address issues in the neurobiological domain of any aspect of attachment highlight promising avenues for in 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.


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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