Effects of attachment styles on prefrontal cortex during naturalistic social interaction: An fNIRS based hyperscanning study

Yargıçoğlu, Burcu
This study investigates possible differences of prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity as well as brain-to-brain coordination across PFCs of dyads during naturalistic social interaction from an attachment theory perspective by employing functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) hyperscanning. Male participants with right-hand dominance (N=48) were administered Turkish Experiences in Close Relationship Scale (Sumer, 2006) for assessment of predominant adult attachment styles (Secure:27, Insecure: 21) and played regular and reverse cooperative and competitive versions of the rock-paper-scissors (RPS) game to facilitate standardized social interaction. By using a novel method, significant inter-brain coherence were observed for both competition and cooperation tasks at fronto-polar cortex (FC) and dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) bilaterally in a lateralized manner depending on the task type. Moreover, two-sample t-tests have revealed that attachment styles do have effects on FC oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO) activation. Overall, our findings suggest that FC, thought as a hub for metacognition, while contributing to social interaction, interestingly elicits activation differences w.r.t. attachment styles as well, with secure attachment orientation exhibiting stronger hemodynamic response, which may serve as a putative neuro-biologic marker underlying individual differences.


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Citation Formats
B. Yargıçoğlu, “Effects of attachment styles on prefrontal cortex during naturalistic social interaction: An fNIRS based hyperscanning study,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2022.