Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Male Brain and Parenting, 3

Studies led by Eyal Abraham of Bar-Ilan University to investigate parenting behaviors revealed that parenting implemented a global ‘parental caregiving’ neural network that was mainly consistent across parents. fMRI showed parenting integrated the functioning of two systems: the emotional processing network (including subcortical and paralimbic structures associated with vigilance, salience, reward, and motivation), and the mentalizing network (involving frontopolar-medial-prefrontal and temporo-parietal circuits implicated in social understanding and cognitive empathy). These two networks work together to imbue infant care with emotional salience, attune with the infant state, and plan adequate parenting. fMRI results showed that males and females used similar brain networks when they were parenting but their brains showed differing patterns of activation. 

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