Document Detail

The functional neuroanatomy of maternal love: mother's response to infant's attachment behaviors.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17686467     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Maternal love, which may be the core of maternal behavior, is essential for the mother-infant attachment relationship and is important for the infant's development and mental health. However, little has been known about these neural mechanisms in human mothers. We examined patterns of maternal brain activation in response to infant cues using video clips. METHODS: We performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measurements while 13 mothers viewed video clips, with no sound, of their own infant and other infants of approximately 16 months of age who demonstrated two different attachment behaviors (smiling at the infant's mother and crying for her). RESULTS: We found that a limited number of the mother's brain areas were specifically involved in recognition of the mother's own infant, namely orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), periaqueductal gray, anterior insula, and dorsal and ventrolateral parts of putamen. Additionally, we found the strong and specific mother's brain response for the mother's own infant's distress. The differential neural activation pattern was found in the dorsal region of OFC, caudate nucleus, right inferior frontal gyrus, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (PFC), anterior cingulate, posterior cingulate, thalamus, substantia nigra, posterior superior temporal sulcus, and PFC. CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed the highly elaborate neural mechanism mediating maternal love and diverse and complex maternal behaviors for vigilant protectiveness.
Madoka Noriuchi; Yoshiaki Kikuchi; Atsushi Senoo
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2007-08-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biological psychiatry     Volume:  63     ISSN:  1873-2402     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2008 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-02-01     Completed Date:  2008-02-29     Revised Date:  2008-04-02    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0213264     Medline TA:  Biol Psychiatry     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  415-23     Citation Subset:  IM    
Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Frontier Health Science, Division of Human Health Science, Graduate School of Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan.
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MeSH Terms
Arousal / physiology
Brain / physiology*
Infant Behavior / psychology*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Maternal Behavior*
Mother-Child Relations*
Nerve Net / physiology*
Object Attachment*
Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology,  physiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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