About this Research Topic
The impact of emotional and social processes has been a longstanding topic in developmental psychology. Developmental science has examined which kind of emotional and social processes play a prominent role in particular phases of development and how their impact changes during life-span. For example, attachment theory has highlighted the role of caregiver-child interaction in the development of emotion regulation capacities during early childhood. Adolescence is known as a period of heightened sensitivity towards peer influences. Subjective well-being in the elderly is related to the quality of their social contacts. Overall, this research endeavour has been very fruitful and has led to a number of empirical findings and novel theoretical approaches.
Interestingly, in the last decades, psychology has experienced an increased use of methods derived from the neurosciences. More recently, developmental researchers have also started to employ neuroscientific methods in their empirical investigations. This paved avenues for novel research questions. Moreover, this provided novel insights that could not have been obtained with classical research methods. In particular, they have led to new research fields such as developmental social neuroscience.
This Research Topic targets at bringing together novel, cutting-edge neuroscientific research on the impact of emotional and social processes on human development. It aims at highlighting the benefits of neuroscientific methods for fostering our understanding of the role emotional and social processes play during different phases of human development. To this end, developmental psychologists from various backgrounds (e.g., infancy research, adolescence researchers, life-span development) who have productively used neuroscientific methods in their empirical work will be welcome to join the Research Topic. Contributors will be encouraged to expand on the benefits (and also limitations) of the respective neuroscientific method in their paper.
In sum, this Research Topic will not only assemble cutting edge work in social and emotional developmental psychology. Its explicit discussion of the benefits and limitations of neuroscientific methods will also offer readers an overview on potential applications and benefits of these methods in research on social and emotional development.
Keywords: developmental science, neuroscience, emotion, social processes, developmental theory
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