Being a parent is a new and exciting chapter in life. It brings many changes in how people feel, think and arrange their daily lives. Some of these changes happen in the brain, and help parents care for their new babies. Although the brain is constantly changing throughout life, we are only just beginning to understand what happens when someone becomes a parent.
By incorporating what we know about patterns of attachment, oxytocin, and the brain’s reward system, we can learn more about what goes on in the parenting brain. Using these tools, the Attachment and Neurodevelopment Lab has been working alongside families in the Houston area who may be expecting a child or currently have children under the age of one.
By participating in our research, these families are helping us to more fully understand what goes on in the brains of parents. Our work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the USDA and the McNair Foundation.