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Neuroreport. 2004 Aug 6;15(11):1825-9.

The neural basis of maternal responsiveness to infants: an fMRI study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Hospital Rd., Pendlebury, Manchester M27 4HA, UK. FERDEEP@aol.com

Erratum in

  • Neuroreport. 2004 Oct 5;15(14):2303.


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 contrasts of infants minus neutral stimulus occurred in bilateral visual processing regions (BA 19,21,37,38); to own infant minus unknown infant in right anterior temporal pole (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) [corrected] 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.

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