Special Issue "Neural and Epigenetic Factors in Parenting: Individual Differences and Dyadic Processes"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 May 2021.
2. University Institute of Neuroscience, University of La Laguna, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, 38320 Canary Islands, Spain
Interests: positive parenting; intervention evaluation; early adversity; maternal neglect; personality traits; mother–child interaction; EEG signal processing; brain imaging
Interests: behavioral epigenetics; developmental psychobiology; early intervention; mother-infant interaction; stress regulation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Human parenting is a fundamental educational context that is biologically primed and constitutes fertile ground for exploring neural and epigenetic factors that shape the complexities of the caregiving task. This Special Issue addresses such complexities, focusing on parents’ individual differences and dyadic processes. Parenting is seen as comprising a set of mental health conditions as well as cognitive, emotional, motivational, and behavioral dispositions that may vary from parent to parent. Parenting is also best understood as a transactional dyadic process between both caregivers as well as parent–child interactions aimed at their co-adaptations. We invite studies using cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques, including time-sensitive techniques such as magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, and eye tracking, examining the brain bases of adaptive and maladaptive parenting and brain-to-brain connectivity. Studies using quantifiable epigenetic markers, such as DNA methylation, can also help to derive associations between epigenetic variation and a particular identifiable phenotype/trait relevant to parenting. Finally, intervention studies reporting the evaluation of evidence-based parenting programs involving neural or epigenetic measures are also welcome. For this Special Issue, we invite the submission of original research papers and review articles addressing the aforementioned topics using some of the techniques referred to above.
Prof. Dr. María José Rodrigo
Dr. Livio Provenzi
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
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- mental health
- personality traits
- parent–child interaction
- DNA methylation
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: Distinctive frontal and occipitotemporal surface features in neglectful parenting
Authors: Inmaculada León1,2; María José Rodrigo1,2; Ileana Quiñones3; Juan Andrés Hernández-Cabrera 1,2; and Lorna García-Pentón4
Affiliation: 1Instituto Universitario de Neurociencia, La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain 2Facultad de Psicología. Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain 3Basque Center on Cognition, Brain, and Language, Donostia-San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain 4Department of Psychology. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Abstract: Although the brain signatures of adaptive human parenting are well documented, the cortical features associated with maladaptive caregiving are underexplored. We investigated whether cortical thickness and surface area vary in a small group of mothers who had neglected their children (24 in the neglect group, NG) compared to a control group of mothers with non-neglectful caregiving (21 in the control group, CG). We also tested whether the cortical differences were related to dyadic mother-child emotional availability (EA) in a play task with their children and whether alexithymia involving low emotional awareness that characterizes NG could play a role in the cortical–EA associations. Whole-brain analysis of the cortical mantle identified reduced cortical thickness in the right rostral middle frontal gyrus and an increased surface area in the right lingual and lateral occipital cortices for NG with respect to CG. Follow-up path analysis showed direct effects of the right rostral middle frontal gyrus (RMFG) on the emotional availability (EA) and on the difficulty to identify feelings (alexithymia factor), with a marginal indirect RMFG-EA effect through this factor. These preliminary findings extend existing work by implicating differences in cortical features associated with neglectful parenting and relevant to mother-child interactive bonding.