The neural basis of maternal responsiveness to infants: an fMRI study
Ranote, S., Elliott, R., Abel, K.M., Mitchell, R., Deakin, J.F.W. and Appleby, L. (2004) The neural basis of maternal responsiveness to infants: an fMRI study. Neuroreport, 15 (11). pp. 1825-1829. ISSN 0959-4965
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000137078.64128.6a
Using fMRI, we examined the neural correlates of maternal responsiveness. Ten healthy mothers viewed alternating blocks of video: (i) 40 s of their own infant; (ii) 20 s of a neutral video; (iii) 40 s of an unknown infant and (iv) 20 s of neutral video, repeated 4 times. Predominant BOLD signal change to the contrast of infants minus neutral stimulus occurred in bilateral visual processing regions BA minus neutral stimulus occurred in bilateral visual processing regions (BA 38), left amygdala and visual cortex (BA 19), and to the unknown infant minus own infant contrast in bilateral orbitofrontal cortex (BA 10,47) and medial prefrontal cortex (BA 8). These findings suggest that amygdala and temporal pole may be key sites in mediating a mother's response to her infant and reaffirms their importance in face emotion processing and social behaviour.