Neuroscience and attachment: a human difference?

Neuroscience of Human Attachment Source: Brain Posts [Neuroscience Medicine]

Excerpt: Social behavior appears to regulated through both affective evaluation (emotional mentalization) and cognitive control systems (cognitive mentalizations).  These systems interact with hormonal and neurotransmitter domains in influencing social interactions.


Vrtička, P., & Vuilleumier, P. (2012). Neuroscience of human social interactions and adult attachment style

First line of their introduction: “In mammals, including humans, attachment is a major dimension of behavior that can come into play in several domains (Fisher et al., 2006).”

Later: “As mentioned above, the neuroscientific investigation of attachment in humans has just recently begun.”

Their citation is to: H.E. Fisher et al., (2006). Romantic love: a mammalian brain system for mate choice. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 361, 2173–2186.

H.E. Fisher (1995) “This is science at its best, with adventure, ideas, and lots of facts… You will never look at your lover or your family the same way again.” —  from the cover of “The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality” by James V. Kohl and Robert T. Francoeur.

Their conclusion: “Future investigations need to deepen our knowledge of the neural mechanisms involved in different facets of attachment, its development (brain activation patterns related to attachment in childhood and adolescence and their transition into adulthood) and its malleability by new experiences and learning, including at the level of gene-environment interactions. We believe that this endeavor will be made possible by using an interdisciplinary approach based on neuroimaging, genetic, and psychological investigations in humans, as well as innovative studies on animal models of social behaviors, as effectively illustrated by many recent advances in social neuroscience.”

My comment: Adaptive evolution is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in species from microbes to man. Which animal model of neuroscience and attachment that includes social behavior is best suited for application that supports advances in social neuroscience? Am I biased by the development of my own model, since 1995, in this context, or are others (Helen Fisher and a few others excepted) simply biased against it?

Is there another animal model that deserves more consideration? What about birds, like the great white egret? Are we more like birds than other mammals?

Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.

About James V. Kohl 1308 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society