Parental Behavior Book Press Release

Book Examines Biological Bases of Parental Behavior

Post-Partum Depression, Neurobiology of Fatherhood Examined in Tufts Expert's Compilation
Boston, MA, August 11, 2008

What makes mommies and daddies—whether they be monkeys, mice, or humans—tick? This topic is explored in great detail in Neurobiology of the Parental Brain, a compilation of neurobiological research on parental behavioral disorders edited by Dr. Robert Bridges of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

In its 584 pages, Bridges' book compiles presentations—on topics ranging from mood disorders in pregnancy and post-partum depression to The Monogamous Male Brain—delivered at a June 2007 conference that gathered the leading thinkers on parental neurobiology in Boston led by Dr. Bridges, the head of the Section of Reproductive Biology at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. His research on the biological basis of maternal behavior has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health for more than 25 years.

Maternal aggression, post-partum depression, even how and why mothers bond with their babies—these are all topics we hear plenty about in the media, but we as scientists are just beginning to understand their origins, said Robert Bridges, PhD, editor of Neurobiology of the Parental Brain. By compiling the leading research from some of the best minds in the field, we hope that we can shed more light on this area.

Topics covered by the book include:

  • The neural network of motherhood: fundamental and functional MRI studies of parental care—from rodents to humans
  • Genes to epigenes—the role of gene-environment interactions in parenting
  • Parenting strategies and priorities in raising young
  • Maternal defense—the neurobiology of maternal protection
  • Motherhood and postpartum depression—significance and underlying causes
  • Parenting and anxiety—neurobiological basis for reductions during the postpartum period
  • The neurobiology of fatherhood—an evolutionary and biological perspective on paternal behavior
  • Maternal neuroplasticity—how reproductive history changes the maternal brain
  • Translating research—insights into common factors that regulate mammalian parenting

The book, published by Elsevier's Academic Press imprint, retails for $125.


About the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, MA, the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is known for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; five hospitals that treat over 30,000 cases each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, public and environmental health.