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      What’s in a Moment: What Can Be Learned About Pair Bonding From Studying Moment-To-Moment Behavioral Synchrony Between Partners?

      *

      Frontiers in Psychology

      Frontiers Media S.A.

      synchrony, coordination, calls, parent, couple, nest

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Our understanding of the behavioral and physiological mechanisms of monogamy largely comes from studies of behavioral interactions unique to pair-bonded individuals. By focusing on these highly marked behaviors, a remarkable conservation in the mechanisms underlying pair bonding has been revealed; however, we continue to know very little about the range of behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms that could explain the great diversity of pair-bonding phenotypes that exists both within and across species. In order to capture the dynamic nature of bonds over time and across contexts, we need specific, operationally-defined behavioral variables relevant across such a diversity of scenarios. Additionally, we need to be able to situate these behavioral variables within broader frameworks that allow us to interpret and compare patterns seen across species. Here I review what is known about behavioral synchrony with respect to pair bonding and discuss using synchrony as such a variable as well as a framework to expand on our understanding of pair bonding across timescales, contexts and species. First, I discuss the importance of behavioral synchrony and parental coordination for reproductive success in monogamous biparental bird species. Second, I highlight research documenting the critical importance of interpersonal coordination for human social relationships. Finally, I present recent work that experimentally bridges these lines of research by quantifying moment-to-moment behavioral synchrony during brief social interactions in zebra finch dyads. All together, these distinct perspectives support the notion that synchrony (1) is a shared premise for sociality across species, (2) is deeply shaped by social experiences, and (3) exists across timescales, behaviors, and levels of physiology. Conceptualizing pair bonding through the framework of behavioral synchrony is likely to facilitate a deeper understanding of the nuances of how social experiences and interactions impact the brain and behavior.

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          Most cited references 159

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          Neuroendocrine perspectives on social attachment and love.

           C Sue Carter (1998)
          The purpose of this paper is to review existing behavioral and neuroendocrine perspectives on social attachment and love. Both love and social attachments function to facilitate reproduction, provide a sense of safety, and reduce anxiety or stress. Because social attachment is an essential component of love, understanding attachment formation is an important step toward identifying the neurobiological substrates of love. Studies of pair bonding in monogamous rodents, such as prairie voles, and maternal attachment in precocial ungulates offer the most accessible animal models for the study of mechanisms underlying selective social attachments and the propensity to develop social bonds. Parental behavior and sexual behavior, even in the absence of selective social behaviors, are associated with the concept of love; the analysis of reproductive behaviors, which is far more extensive than our understanding of social attachment, also suggests neuroendocrine substrates for love. A review of these literatures reveals a recurrent association between high levels of activity in the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and the subsequent expression of social behaviors and attachments. Positive social behaviors, including social bonds, may reduce HPA axis activity, while in some cases negative social interactions can have the opposite effect. Central neuropeptides, and especially oxytocin and vasopressin have been implicated both in social bonding and in the central control of the HPA axis. In prairie voles, which show clear evidence of pair bonds, oxytocin is capable of increasing positive social behaviors and both oxytocin and social interactions reduce activity in the HPA axis. Social interactions and attachment involve endocrine systems capable of decreasing HPA reactivity and modulating the autonomic nervous system, perhaps accounting for health benefits that are attributed to loving relationships.
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            Consensus decision making in animals.

            Individual animals routinely face decisions that are crucial to their fitness. In social species, however, many of these decisions need to be made jointly with other group members because the group will split apart unless a consensus is reached. Here, we review empirical and theoretical studies of consensus decision making, and place them in a coherent framework. In particular, we classify consensus decisions according to the degree to which they involve conflict of interest between group members, and whether they involve either local or global communication; we ask, for different categories of consensus decision, who makes the decision, what are the underlying mechanisms, and what are the functional consequences. We conclude that consensus decision making is common in non-human animals, and that cooperation between group members in the decision-making process is likely to be the norm, even when the decision involves significant conflict of interest.
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              Brain-to-brain coupling: a mechanism for creating and sharing a social world.

              Cognition materializes in an interpersonal space. The emergence of complex behaviors requires the coordination of actions among individuals according to a shared set of rules. Despite the central role of other individuals in shaping one's mind, most cognitive studies focus on processes that occur within a single individual. We call for a shift from a single-brain to a multi-brain frame of reference. We argue that in many cases the neural processes in one brain are coupled to the neural processes in another brain via the transmission of a signal through the environment. Brain-to-brain coupling constrains and shapes the actions of each individual in a social network, leading to complex joint behaviors that could not have emerged in isolation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-1078
                04 August 2020
                2020
                : 11
                Affiliations
                Department of Psychology, University of Maryland , College Park, MD, United States
                Author notes

                Edited by: Bianca P. Acevedo, University of California, Santa Barbara, United States

                Reviewed by: Zsófia Virányi, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria; Judith M. Burkart, University of Zurich, Switzerland

                *Correspondence: Nora H. Prior, nhprior@ 123456umd.edu

                This article was submitted to Comparative Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Article
                10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01370
                7417665
                32848962
                Copyright © 2020 Prior.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 195, Pages: 19, Words: 0
                Categories
                Psychology
                Review

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry

                synchrony, coordination, calls, parent, couple, nest

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