- by Salomon Lab
- January 11, 2022
The mother-infant bond serves as a basis for future attachment interactions that the child develops across life. In attachment theory, there is much emphasis on the consistency of such bonds, but is it also consistent in our brain? We examined the neural response to attachment-related videos collected over two decades. Young adults were fMRI scanned while watching videos of themselves interacting with their mother, as infants, children, and as adults, and watched similar unfamiliar interactions. Attachment-related videos not only elicited greater activations in self-related brain regions, but those activations were also age invariant, meaning that the neural response remained consistent across different ages. We have also found that attachment-related videos increased the connectivity between the Anterior Cingulate cortex and the Insula and that the neural activity of these regions correlated with the child’s social engagement during these videotaped interactions: The more engaged she or he was, the greater the coupling was in those regions. These findings support the notion of self-related attachment continuity across the individual’s developmental history.
Adi Ulmer-Yaniv, Shani Waidergoren, Ariel Shaked, Roy Salomon, Ruth Feldman