Studying parent-child interaction with hyperscanning

Trinh Nguyen, Anna Bánki, Gabriela Markova, Stefanie Hoehl

Recent research suggests that parent-child interactions influence children's brain development, both in terms of structure and function. However, the neurobiological processes underlying this association have yet to be explored. In the present chapter, we will introduce “hyperscanning” as an upcoming approach to study social interactions between parent and child. We suggest that hyperscanning is especially suitable to examine interpersonal dynamics, such as neural entrainment to communicative signals and interpersonal synchronization of brain activities. Despite the manifold potentials of hyperscanning, the growing field is still facing various challenges, including methodological limitations, which we will also address in this chapter. We will then illustrate how the insights gained so far from hyperscanning studies assessing parent-child interactions can inform research on the development of early social cognition, including social impairments. Hyperscanning has the potential to deepen our understanding of how parent-child interactions can support healthy child development.

Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
501005 Developmental psychology, 501014 Neuropsychology
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