(University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
Neural Sociometrics: Precision assessment of parent-child brain-behaviour interaction dynamics
During early life, healthy neurodevelopment depends on warm, responsive and closely-coordinated social interactions between infants and caregivers. These rich multidimensional experiences act through multiple sensory and motor pathways to orchestrate healthy maturation of the neonatal brain, mind and body. Conversely, adverse early life experiences (including abuse or neglect) seed vulnerabilities for poor cognition and emotional instability throughout the lifespan. Despite the pivotal role played by caregiver interactions during early development, we still lack precision tools and models that can accurately and comprehensively capture the complex dynamics within the child’s “interactome”. Here, I will discuss neural sociometrics – real-time multi-sensor high-dimensional imaging of adult-infant dyadic social interactive behaviour and neurophysiology - as a deep phenotyping tool for early screening and precision intervention. Early risk identification and mitigation, paired with precision therapeutics, could fundamentally alter a child’s development trajectory toward lifelong mental wellbeing and productivity.