SYNOPSIS: Parental neuroimaging promises to shed light on how humans adapt to the demands of parenthood, but this research is not without challenges. A study in this issue reports differences between mothers’ and non-mothers’ default mode network activation during a goal-oriented task accompanied by human vocalizations. However, they did not find hypothesized differences in response specifically to infant cry, and the reach of conclusions that can be made based on these findings is limited. In my commentary, I present ideas for ways this work could be extended to make more definitive statements about the nature and potential benefits of parental brain adaptations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology