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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Emory University
  • James K Rilling
  • (404) 727-3062
  • John Lindo
Award Date:05/13/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 589,941
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 589,941
  • FY 2021=$589,941
Start Date:05/15/2021
End Date:04/30/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Neural, Hormonal and Epigenetic Adaptations for Fatherhood
Federal Award ID Number:2051553
DUNS ID:066469933
Parent DUNS ID:066469933
Program:Biological Anthropology
Program Officer:
  • Rebecca Ferrell
  • (703) 292-7850

Awardee Location

Street:1599 Clifton Rd NE, 4th Floor
Awardee Cong. District:05

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Emory University
Street:1599 Clifton Road NE, 4th floor
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

This project examines hormonal and neurobiological changes that human males may experience during their transition to fatherhood, and whether these changes are correlated with levels of attachment and caregiving. The research engages with evolutionary theories about human life history and parental care to advance our understanding of the role of human males in direct caregiving. By identifying biological changes associated with fatherhood, this project can generate hypotheses and potentially inform public health knowledge about parental motivation and how this motivation varies across a range of circumstances. The project also facilitates laboratory training and professional development of multiple undergraduate researchers, including those from groups that are underrepresented in STEM research. Research in bi-parental non-human species suggests that males experience a number of biological changes that prepare them for fatherhood. This project investigates whether human males experience similar changes that prepare them for a caregiving role. The researchers examine if and when hormone levels change with the transition to fatherhood, and whether these changes are correlated with paternal involvement and attachment during infancy. Levels of the hormones oxytocin, vasopressin and testosterone are measured for expecting fathers (and non-father controls) at multiple intervals until their infants reach 1 year of age, and parents report on paternal involvement and attachment. The researchers also examine if and when methylation of genes that code for oxytocin, vasopressin and androgen receptors changes with the transition to fatherhood, and whether those changes are correlated with paternal involvement and attachment. In addition, MRI and fMRI scans are collected from participants pre- and post-natally to examine if regional cerebral gray matter volume and neural responses to infant picture stimuli change with the transition to fatherhood and if those changes are correlated with paternal involvement and attachment. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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