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​Parents’ brains sync up when caring for children together

Published on: 15-May-2020

Big Think (US), 15 May

Co-parenting is common in society and science experiments, but researchers led by NTU Singapore wanted to see how the physical presence of a co-parenting spouse affected brain responses. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, the researchers measured the couples' brain activity in their prefrontal cortex. These scans revealed the couples to be synchronous, meaning their brain activity was similar and in the same areas of the brain. This synchronicity was only found in the together condition and was greater among parents who were younger, had only one child, and share parenting responsibilities more often. "Our study indicates that when spouses are physically together, there is greater synchrony in their attentional and cognitive control mechanisms when parenting," said senior author of the study, Assoc Prof Gianluca Esposito.

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