Multimodal Approach for Characterizing the Quality of Parent–Child Interaction: A Single Synchronization Source May Not Tell the Whole Story

Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus, Carmel Gashri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interaction between the parent and child is essential for the child’s cognitive and emotional development and sets the path for future well-being. These interactions, starting from birth, are necessary for providing the sensory stimulation the child needs in the critical time window of brain development. The characterization of parent–child interactions is traditionally performed by human decoding. This approach is considered the leading and most accurate way of characterizing the quality of these interactions. However, the development of computational tools and especially the concept of parent–child synchronization opened up an additional source of data characterizing these interactions in an objective, less human-labor manner. Such sources include brain-to-brain, voice/speech, eye contact, motor, and heart-rate synchronization. However, can a single source synchronization dataset accurately represent parent–child interaction? Will attending to the same stimulation, often resulting in a higher brain-to-brain synchronization, be considered an interactive condition? In this perspective, we will try to convey a new concept of the child–parent interaction synchronization (CHIPS) matrix, which includes the different sources of signals generated during an interaction. Such a model may assist in explaining the source of interaction alterations in the case of child/parent developmental/emotional or sensory deficits and may open up new ways of assessing interventions and changes in parent–child interactions along development. We will discuss this interaction during one of the parent–child joint activities providing opportunities for interaction, i.e., storytelling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number241
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • hyperscanning
  • interaction matrix
  • parent–child interaction
  • synchronization

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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