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      Parent-infant synchrony and the construction of shared timing; physiological precursors, developmental outcomes, and risk conditions.

      Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines

      Affect, physiology, Animals, Anxiety Disorders, physiopathology, psychology, Arousal, Biological Clocks, Brain, Child Behavior Disorders, Communication, Depression, Postpartum, Depressive Disorder, Major, Emotions, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Infant, Premature, Internal-External Control, Male, Maternal Behavior, Object Attachment, Parent-Child Relations, Pregnancy, Time Factors, Vagus Nerve

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          Abstract

          Synchrony, a construct used across multiple fields to denote the temporal relationship between events, is applied to the study of parent-infant interactions and suggested as a model for intersubjectivity. Three types of timed relationships between the parent and child's affective behavior are assessed: concurrent, sequential, and organized in an ongoing patterned format, and the development of each is charted across the first year. Viewed as a formative experience for the maturation of the social brain, synchrony impacts the development of self-regulation, symbol use, and empathy across childhood and adolescence. Different patterns of synchrony with mother, father, and the family and across cultures describe relationship-specific modes of coordination. The capacity to engage in temporally-matched interactions is based on physiological mechanisms, in particular oscillator systems, such as the biological clock and cardiac pacemaker, and attachment-related hormones, such as oxytocin. Specific patterns of synchrony are described in a range of child-, parent- and context-related risk conditions, pointing to its ecological relevance and usefulness for the study of developmental psychopathology. A perspective that underscores the organization of discrete relational behaviors into emergent patterns and considers time a central parameter of emotion and communication systems may be useful to the study of interpersonal intimacy and its potential for personal transformation across the lifespan.

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          Journal
          17355401
          10.1111/j.1469-7610.2006.01701.x

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