A walk on the dark side

TMS over the right Inferior Frontal Gyrus (rIFG) disrupts behavioral responses to infant stimuli

Pietro De Carli*, Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, Laura Parolin, Carlotta Lega, Beatrice Zanardo, Zairo Cattaneo, M.M.E. Riem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Infant signals, including infant sounds and facial expressions, play a critical role in eliciting parental proximity and care. Processing of infant signals in the adulthood brain is likely to recruit emotional empathy neural circuits, including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to test the role of right IFG (rIFG) in behavioral responses to infant signals. Specifically, a group of nulliparous women were asked to perform a handgrip dynamometer task and an Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT) after receiving TMS over the right IFG or over a control site (vertex). Suppressing activity in the rIFG affected the modulation of handgrip force in response to infant crying. Moreover, the AAT showed that participants tend to avoid the sad infant face after Vertex stimulation, and this bias was counteracted by rIFG stimulation. Our results suggest a causal role of rIFG in sensitive responding towards sad infants and point to the rIFG as a critical node in the neural network underlying the innate releasing mechanism for feelings of love, affection and caring of sad infants.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Neuroscience
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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behavioral response
infant
stimulus
Crying
Facial Expression
facial expression
Love
sympathy
empathy
neural network
adulthood
brain
love
trend

Cite this

De Carli, Pietro ; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian ; Parolin, Laura ; Lega, Carlotta ; Zanardo, Beatrice ; Cattaneo, Zairo ; Riem, M.M.E. / A walk on the dark side : TMS over the right Inferior Frontal Gyrus (rIFG) disrupts behavioral responses to infant stimuli. In: Social Neuroscience. 2019.
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title = "A walk on the dark side: TMS over the right Inferior Frontal Gyrus (rIFG) disrupts behavioral responses to infant stimuli",
abstract = "Infant signals, including infant sounds and facial expressions, play a critical role in eliciting parental proximity and care. Processing of infant signals in the adulthood brain is likely to recruit emotional empathy neural circuits, including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to test the role of right IFG (rIFG) in behavioral responses to infant signals. Specifically, a group of nulliparous women were asked to perform a handgrip dynamometer task and an Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT) after receiving TMS over the right IFG or over a control site (vertex). Suppressing activity in the rIFG affected the modulation of handgrip force in response to infant crying. Moreover, the AAT showed that participants tend to avoid the sad infant face after Vertex stimulation, and this bias was counteracted by rIFG stimulation. Our results suggest a causal role of rIFG in sensitive responding towards sad infants and point to the rIFG as a critical node in the neural network underlying the innate releasing mechanism for feelings of love, affection and caring of sad infants.",
author = "{De Carli}, Pietro and Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg and Laura Parolin and Carlotta Lega and Beatrice Zanardo and Zairo Cattaneo and M.M.E. Riem",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1080/17470919.2019.1574891",
language = "English",
journal = "Social Neuroscience",
issn = "1747-0919",
publisher = "Psychology Press Ltd",

}

A walk on the dark side : TMS over the right Inferior Frontal Gyrus (rIFG) disrupts behavioral responses to infant stimuli. / De Carli, Pietro; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian; Parolin, Laura; Lega, Carlotta; Zanardo, Beatrice; Cattaneo, Zairo; Riem, M.M.E.

In: Social Neuroscience, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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T2 - TMS over the right Inferior Frontal Gyrus (rIFG) disrupts behavioral responses to infant stimuli

AU - De Carli, Pietro

AU - Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian

AU - Parolin, Laura

AU - Lega, Carlotta

AU - Zanardo, Beatrice

AU - Cattaneo, Zairo

AU - Riem, M.M.E.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Infant signals, including infant sounds and facial expressions, play a critical role in eliciting parental proximity and care. Processing of infant signals in the adulthood brain is likely to recruit emotional empathy neural circuits, including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to test the role of right IFG (rIFG) in behavioral responses to infant signals. Specifically, a group of nulliparous women were asked to perform a handgrip dynamometer task and an Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT) after receiving TMS over the right IFG or over a control site (vertex). Suppressing activity in the rIFG affected the modulation of handgrip force in response to infant crying. Moreover, the AAT showed that participants tend to avoid the sad infant face after Vertex stimulation, and this bias was counteracted by rIFG stimulation. Our results suggest a causal role of rIFG in sensitive responding towards sad infants and point to the rIFG as a critical node in the neural network underlying the innate releasing mechanism for feelings of love, affection and caring of sad infants.

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