Published on: 18-May-2020
Psych Central (USA)
A new study reveals how the physical presence of spouses who are co-parenting can alter one another's brain activity. Researchers from NTU Singapore analysed how the brain activity of 24 husband-wife pairs from Singapore changed in response to recordings of infant stimuli such as crying, when they were physically together and when they were apart. For the study, the researchers monitored the parents' prefrontal cortex - a brain region linked to complex behaviour and emotional states. The results reveal that when the spouses were physically together, their brains showed more similar responses than when they were apart. This effect was only found in true couples and not in randomly matched study participants. "Since the brain response of parents may be shaped by the presence of the spouse, then it is likely that spouses who do not spend much time together while attending their children may find it harder to understand each other's viewpoint and have reduced ability to coordinate co-parenting responsibilities. This may undermine the quality of parental care in the long run," said lead researcher Assoc Prof Gianluca Esposito.
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