Brain Sciences


Meet the researcher: Pasco Fearon

My main interest is in trying to understand the driving forces behind child development, particularly in relation to children’s emotional development.

Nick Midgley

26 September 2017

I’m fascinated by the interplay that seems to happen between genetic factors and the social environment – particularly experiences in early caregiving relationships. One valuable way of looking at this for me has been to study parent-child attachment – the emotional bond that children form to their primary caregivers, which seems to afford them a feeling of safety, security and comfort. Variation in how ‘secure’ such relationships are gives us a window on the broader question of how early caregiving experiences affect later development. We have used longitudinal studies, genetic assays, twin designs and brain imaging to look at these questions. Using the findings from these kinds of studies I have also become very interested in early intervention to promote the quality of parent-child relationships – both to treat some emotional difficulties when they arise, and to prevent them from occurring in the first place.