The development of attachment: Integrating genes, brain, behavior, and environment

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In humans, as in other animal species, early caregiver-infant interactions influence physiological and psychological processes by modulating brain sensitivity. Furthermore, early social interaction between caregiver and infant influences infants’ cognitive and socioemotional development, and subsequently the development of social, familial, and romantic relationships later in life. Here, we have collected longitudinal and cross-sectional empirical studies as well as review and perspective articles that focus on human or non-human mammals with the aim to investigate how genetic, hormonal, behavioural, and environmental factors, as well as cultural contexts, regulate early interactional experiences, and how these experiences translate into social and non-social competences later in life (see Graphical Abstract).

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