Article

Touch: Its Communicative Functions in Infancy

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

The communicative functions that the tactile modality serves in infancy have been severely neglected by researchers. The present article highlights the importance of touch by addressing two questions. First, what is communicated to infants by touch from their caregivers? In addition to the common notion that touch regulates arousal levels, it is argued that touch is capable of communicating valenced and discrete emotions as well as specific information. Second, how does meaning come about from the touch that adults administer to infants? This question is addressed by discussing specific qualities and parameters of touch and three mechanisms by which infants gain meaning from touch. Empirical evidence is provided and hypotheses are made regarding each of these questions. Furthermore, a preliminary model of tactile communication is presented based upon the literature on touch, as well as the conceptual framework outlined in the article.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... The sense of touch, which develops early, is an essential point of contact with the external world for young infants [14,15]. Indeed, there is evidence that touch may impact infants' early development [16,17] by promoting parent-infant bonding [18] and secure attachment [19], and by reducing infant distress [20]. While it is not clear whether infants in the first year of life perceive the tactile input they receive as communicative, recent evidence suggested that caregiver touch promotes infant speech perception [21], abstract pattern learning [22], and lexical acquisition. ...
... We argue that infants' performance at test may be mediated by their ability to learn the meaningful associations between tactile cues and visual images. The current results offer additional insight into the utility of tactile cues in infancy when caregiver touch is ubiquitous [17][18][19][20]. However, our findings must be interpreted with caution: Infants successfully formed object categories in the touch-cue (but not the no-cue) condition when compared against chance, but the difference between these conditions at test was not statistically significant. ...
... The present study adds to this literature by showing that, like speech, interpersonal touch may also have an advantageous effect on cognition in infancy. This possibility is important, especially considering the ubiquity and frequency of touch during infants' early social interactions [20,37] and the richness of interpersonal tactile interactions (e.g., caregivers often combine relevant tactile and speech cues while communicating with their infants; [23]). Our findings also support extant evidence of the function of touch in infants' early learning [21,22]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Infants form object categories in the first months of life. By 3 months and throughout the first year, successful categorization varies as a function of the acoustic information presented in conjunction with category members. Here we ask whether tactile information, delivered in conjunction with category members, also promotes categorization. Six- to 9-month-olds participated in an object categorization task in either a touch-cue or no-cue condition. For infants in the touch-cue condition, familiarization images were accompanied by precisely-timed light touches from their caregivers; infants in the no-cue condition saw the same images but received no touches. Only infants in the touch-cue condition formed categories. This provides the first evidence that touch may play a role in supporting infants’ object categorization.
... Within the context of the mother-infant relationship, infants begin to learn self-regulation, develop expectations of others' behavior, and engage in dynamic back-and-forth interactions with their mothers (Beebe, Lachmann, & Jaffe, 1997; for review see Fonagy, 2010;Hertenstein, 2002). While this interactive behavior between infants and their mothers is mutually responsive and bidirectional, it is also asymmetrical (Beebe et al. 2016;Chow, Haltigan, & Messinger, 2010). ...
... This asymmetry in influence (seen in emotional, physiological, and behavioral indicators) is considered optimal in early infancy because it can initiate maternal attunement to the infant's states, responsive parenting, and regulatory behavior (e.g., Feldman, 2006). During infancy, particularly when the infant is pre-verbal, touch is an important form of interactive behavior between mother and infant (e.g., Hertenstein, 2002). Mothers use touch to respond to infant needs, communicate safety, and teach infants how to regulate and care for themselves (e.g., Ciaunica & Crucianelli, 2019). ...
... Mothers use touch to respond to infant needs, communicate safety, and teach infants how to regulate and care for themselves (e.g., Ciaunica & Crucianelli, 2019). Though infants touch their mothers less than vice versa, infants increasingly initiate touch interactions by one year of age to communicate their needs and internal states to their mothers (Hertenstein, 2002;Ferber, Feldman, & Makhoul, 2008;Kaye & Fogel, 1980). However, infant-mother interactive touch behavior may be disrupted by risk factors, such as maternal depression or intimate partner violence (IPV) that interfere with mother-infant contact, self-regulatory behavior, and the psychological or physiological perception of touch (e.g., D'Andrea, Pole, DePierro, Freed & Wallace, 2013;Feldman, Keren, Gross-Rozval, & Tyano, 2004;Herrera, Reissland, & Shepherd, 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
Touch is a primary form of communication for mother-infant dyads in the infant’s first year of life. Stressors such as intimate partner violence (IPV) and maternal depression experienced during the perinatal period may interfere with mother-infant touch via prenatal programming of the stress response and disrupted parenting. Mother-infant touch research typically focuses on maternal touch, while research on infant touch is limited. However, research suggests that infants sometimes lead interactive behavior, with mothers responding and adapting to their infants. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the effects of IPV and maternal depression on infant-led touch interactions and maternal touch responses. Touch behaviors were coded in 174 mother-infant dyads while they engaged in a free play. ANCOVA analyses indicated that male infants with pre- or postnatal IPV exposure initiated more negative touch (e.g., hitting, kicking, pushing) with their mothers than female or nonexposed male infants. IPV did not predict differences in maternal touch responses to infants, while postpartum depressive symptoms were associated with maternal decreased touch responsiveness to male infant touch. The results suggest that male infant touch behavior is particularly susceptible to prenatal or postnatal exposure to IPV. Importantly, aggressive behavior in early childhood predicts more aggressive behavior across time, and these early negative touch behaviors may be indicative of the beginning of a trajectory of increased physical aggression into childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Moreover, the results support extant findings that prenatal life is a sensitive period for postnatal development, including postnatal socially interactive behavior. Finally, depressed mothers of male infants exhibited decreased touch responsiveness, suggesting that depression may alter maternal interpretation of male infant cues, resulting in maternal withdrawal.
... En los últimos quince años, en el ámbito de la psicología científica, diversos equipos de investigación están llamando la atención sobre la vacancia existente en los estudios sobre el contacto corporal en las interacciones adulto-bebé (Field, 2004;Hertenstein, 2002;Muir, 2002;Stack, 2001). Es muy notoria la escasa inversión en el estudio del tacto y el contacto frente a la dedicada al estudio de los potenciales comunicativos de otras modalidades sensoriales. ...
... En los últimos quince años algunos estudios han investigado las funciones comunicativas del contacto, tanto entre adultos y bebés (Field, Healy, Goldstein & Guthertz, 1990;Herrera, Reissland & Shepherd, 2004;Hertenstein & Campos, 2001;Peláez-Nogueras, Gewirtz, Field & Cigales, 1996;Stepacoff et al, 2000;Weiss, Wilson, Seed & Paul, 2001) como entre adultos (Hertenstein, 2002;Hertenstein et al, 2006Hertenstein et al, , 2009). ...
... Como señalamos reiteradamente, la percepción táctil y los comportamientos de contacto en la infancia han sido estudiados en menor medida que las demás capacidades perceptivas y comportamientos infantiles. Además de las causas históricas, se ha propuesto (Hertenstein, 2002;Stack, 2000) que existen factores metodológicos en el origen de esta situación. El análisis del toque resulta dificultoso, debido a dos circunstancias fundamentales. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Se estudian las características de las performances y las protoconversaciones en un estudio longitudinal de caso único. Se explora y define el reciente concepto de "performance". Dichas interacciones constituyen juegos sociales entre adulto y bebé que aparecen durante el primer año de vida. Se comprobó que en la díada estudiada la frecuencia de performances superaba ampliamente la de protoconversaciones. Se estudia también las características de los contactos corporales piel a piel entre madre y bebé en el contexto de las performances.
... Touch has a crucial role in infants' socio-emotional development (Feldman, 2011;Field, 2010;Hertenstein, 2002), being an essential sensory modality through which mothers can regulate infants' internal states in a variety of everyday circumstances. Converging evidence in animals (Caldji et al., 1998;Simpson et al., 2019) and humans (Feldman, Singer, & Zagoory, 2010) has indeed shown that maternal touch can attenuate infants' level of stress when exposed to novel and/or distressing situations. ...
... Additional evidence shows that maternal touch is also associated with children's social orienting towards social (i.e., faces) compared to non-social stimuli (i.e., houses) (Reece, Ebstein, Cheng, Ng, & Schirmer, 2016). Thus, mothers' tactile care is indeed fundamental to infants' emotional development and the formation of social attachment (Hertenstein, 2002). ...
Article
Maternal touch is considered crucial in regulating infants’ internal states when facing unknown or distressing situations. Here, we explored the effects of maternal touch on 7-month-old infants’ preferences towards emotions. Infants’ looking times were measured through a two-trial preferential looking paradigm, while infants observed dynamic videos of happy and angry facial expressions. During the observation, half of the infants received an affective touch (i.e., stroke), while the other half received a non-affective stimulation (i.e., fingertip squeeze) from their mother. Further, we assessed the frequency of maternal touch in the mother-infant dyad through The Parent-Infant Caregiving Touch Scale (PICTS). Our results have shown that infants’ attention to angry and happy facial expressions varied as a function of both present and past experiences with maternal touch. Specifically, in the affective touch condition, as the frequency of previous maternal affective tactile care increased (PICTS), the avoidance of angry faces decreased. Conversely, in the non-affective touch condition, as the frequency of previous maternal affective tactile care increased (PICTS), the avoidance of angry faces increased as well. Thus, past experience with maternal affective touch is a crucial predictor of the regulatory effects that actual maternal touch exerts on infants’ visual exploration of emotional stimuli.
... While defined to a degree, we are still deciphering those physical contact attributes vital to social touch communication. In such settings, human touch interactions tend to include gesture, pressure/depth, velocity, acceleration, location, frequency, area, and duration (Hertenstein, 2002;Hertenstein et al., 2006;Hertenstein et al., 2009;Yohanan and MacLean, 2012;Silvera-Tawil et al., 2014;Jung et al., 2015;Andreasson et al., 2018;Hauser et al., 2019a;Hauser et al., 2019b;Lo et al., 2021;McIntyre et al., 2021). To understand the functional importance of specific movement patterns, certain attributes such as spatial hand velocity have been further decomposed into directions of normal and tangential (Hauser et al., 2019a) or forward-backward and left-right (Lo et al., 2021). ...
... Affective touch is also believed to impact physiological arousal such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, ECG, EEG, and hormone level (Gallace and Spence, 2010;Sefidgar et al., 2016). Especially for infants, touch delivered by caregivers contributes to their social, cognitive, and physical development (Hertenstein, 2002;Van Puyvelde et al., 2019), where the underlying contact details would be meaningful to quantify. Additionally, many physical therapies, such as massage, rely on specific manipulation of the muscle and tissue of patients delivered by professional therapists. ...
Article
Full-text available
Across a plethora of social situations, we touch others in natural and intuitive ways to share thoughts and emotions, such as tapping to get one’s attention or caressing to soothe one’s anxiety. A deeper understanding of these human-to-human interactions will require, in part, the precise measurement of skin-to-skin physical contact. Among prior efforts, each measurement approach exhibits certain constraints, e.g., motion trackers do not capture the precise shape of skin surfaces, while pressure sensors impede skin-to-skin contact. In contrast, this work develops an interference-free 3D visual tracking system using a depth camera to measure the contact attributes between the bare hand of a toucher and the forearm of a receiver. The toucher’s hand is tracked as a posed and positioned mesh by fitting a hand model to detected 3D hand joints, whereas a receiver’s forearm is extracted as a 3D surface updated upon repeated skin contact. Based on a contact model involving point clouds, the spatiotemporal changes of hand-to-forearm contact are decomposed as six, high-resolution, time-series contact attributes, i.e., contact area, indentation depth, absolute velocity, and three orthogonal velocity components, together with contact duration. To examine the system’s capabilities and limitations, two types of experiments were performed. First, to evaluate its ability to discern human touches, one person delivered cued social messages, e.g., happiness, anger, sympathy, to another person using their preferred gestures. The results indicated that messages and gestures, as well as the identities of the touchers, were readily discerned from their contact attributes. Second, the system’s spatiotemporal accuracy was validated against measurements from independent devices, including an electromagnetic motion tracker, sensorized pressure mat, and laser displacement sensor. While validated here in the context of social communication, this system is extendable to human touch interactions such as maternal care of infants and massage therapy.
... A light inter-personal touch can also elicit positive feelings, generosity, and compliance 56,57,58,59,60,61 . Interpersonal touch regulates social relationships from infancy onward 62 . Tactile stimulation is a part of the typical repertoire of mammalian caregiving behaviors 63,64 Touching and being touched is crucial for bodily and neuro-cognitive development in humans and in nonhuman primates 13,65,66,67 . ...
... Kangaroo mother care (KMC) is one of the common intervention which can be used as evidence to confirm this claim 72 . The early initiation of the skin to skin contact trigger a shift on the being of women making them able to form emotional and social bond that can ensure adherence and exclusive breastfeeding 55,60,61,62 . Exclusive breastfeeding experience is a complex semiotic process that connect the mothers to infant semiotically an symbolically and not just physiologically. ...
... For example, the association between alerting responses to non-social cues and reciprocal social skills could be more prevalent in the visual modality compared to the tactile modality. Because touch is inherently a social signal [29,57] and social touch has been shown to facilitate learning [58], future studies should aim to examine links between alerting in response to social touch and ASD symptomatology, as this correlation may be more robust compared to examining the association between non-social tactile vibrations on the fingertip and ASD symptomatology. ...
... Although we improved ecological validity by presenting a cross-modal tactile-cueing task, the nature of the tactile cues in our study do not represent the heterogeneity of touches experienced in the outside world. For instance, our tactile stimuli were experimentally controlled non-social vibrations on the fingertip, whereas touches used to facilitate alerting in real-world settings may include a variety of touches (e.g., tap, brush, or tickle), locations (e.g., touch on the shoulder, arm, or leg), and may also show a range of communicative intents and are more dynamic (e.g., touch to get attention or convey affect) [57,69,70]. Individuals presented with touch in non-experimental settings are, therefore, required to respond to a variety of aspects of that touch while learning cross-modal links between touch and other modalities that are presented during that interaction. ...
Article
Full-text available
The alerting network, a subcomponent of attention, enables humans to respond to novel information. Children with ASD have shown equivalent alerting in response to visual and/or auditory stimuli compared to typically developing (TD) children. However, it is unclear whether children with ASD and TD show equivalent alerting to tactile stimuli. We examined (1) whether tactile cues affect accuracy and reaction times in children with ASD and TD, (2) whether the duration between touch-cues and auditory targets impacts performance, and (3) whether behavioral responses in the tactile cueing task are associated with ASD symptomatology. Six- to 12-year-olds with ASD and TD participated in a tactile-cueing task and were instructed to respond with a button press to a target sound /a/. Tactile cues were presented at 200, 400, and 800 ms (25% each) prior to the auditory target. The remaining trials (25%) were presented without tactile cues. Findings suggested that both groups showed equivalent alerting responses to tactile cues. Additionally, all children were faster to respond to auditory targets at longer cue–target intervals. Finally, there was an association between rate of facilitation and RRB scores in all children, suggesting that patterns of responding to transient phasic cues may be related to ASD symptomatology.
... While defined to a degree, we are still deciphering those physical contact attributes vital to social touch communication. In such settings, human touch interactions tend to include gesture, pressure/depth, velocity, acceleration, location, frequency, area, and duration (Hertenstein, 2002;Hertenstein et al., 2006Hertenstein et al., , 2009Yohanan and MacLean, 2012;Silvera-Tawil et al., 2014;Jung et al., 2015;Andreasson et al., 2018;Hauser et al., 2019aHauser et al., , 2019bLo et al., 2021;McIntyre et al., 2021). To understand the functional importance of specific movement patterns, certain attributes such as spatial hand velocity have been further decomposed into directions of normal and tangential (Hauser et al., 2019a) or forward-backward and left-right (Lo et al., 2021). ...
... Affective touch is also believed to impact physiological arousal such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, ECG, EEG, and hormone level (Gallace and Spence, 2010;Sefidgar et al., 2016). Especially for infants, touch delivered by caregivers contributes to their social, cognitive, and physical development (Hertenstein, 2002;Van Puyvelde et al., 2019), where the underlying contact details would be meaningful to quantify. Additionally, many physical therapies, such as massage, rely on specific manipulation of the muscle and tissue of patients delivered by professional therapists. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Across a plethora of social situations, we touch others in natural and intuitive ways to share thoughts and emotions, such as tapping to get one's attention or caressing to soothe one's anxiety. A deeper understanding of these human-to-human interactions will require, in part, the precise measurement of skin-to-skin physical contact. Among prior efforts, each measurement approach exhibits certain constraints, e.g., motion trackers do not capture the precise shape of skin surfaces, while pressure sensors impede direct skin contact. In contrast, this work develops an interference-free 3D visual tracking system using a depth camera to measure the contact attributes between the bare hand of a toucher and the forearm of a receiver. The toucher's hand is tracked as a posed and positioned mesh by fitting a hand model to detected 3D joints, whereas the forearm is extracted as a detailed 3D surface. Based on a contact model of point clouds, the spatiotemporal contact changes are decomposed as six high-resolution time-series attributes, i.e., contact area, indentation depth, absolute velocity, and three orthogonal velocity components, together with contact duration. To examine the system's capabilities and limitations, two experiments were performed. First, to evaluate its ability to discern human touches, one person delivered cued social messages, e.g., happiness, anger, sympathy, to another using their preferred gestures. The results indicated that messages, gestures, and the individual touchers, were readily discerned from their contact attributes. Second, the measurement accuracy was validated against independent devices, including an electromagnetic tracker, pressure mat, and laser sensor. While validated here in the context of social communication, this system is extendable to human touch interactions such as maternal care of infants and massage therapy.
... To put this into some kind of perspective, note that the average adult male will have around 18,000 square centimeters of skin, constituting about 16-18% of his body weight (see Montagu, 1971). The sense of touch provides us with an often-overlooked channel of communication (e.g., Burgoon et al., 1996;Finnegan, 2005;Frank, 1957;Geldard, 1960Geldard, , 1961Hertenstein, 2002;McDaniel and Andersen, 1998), and interpersonal touch has been shown to play an important role in governing our emotional wellbeing (e.g., Field, 2001;Spence, 2002). Whether a strong handshake, an encouraging pat on the back, a sensual caress, a nudge for attention, a tender kiss, or a gentle brush of the shoulder, physical contact can convey a vitality and immediacy at times more powerful than language (Jones and Yarbrough, 1985). ...
... The role of touch as a means of interpersonal communication seems to have developed in many different animal species. Indeed, touch is an important form of communication for many animals (see Hertenstein, 2002;Hertenstein et al., 2006aHertenstein et al., , 2006bMoynihan, 1966;Weber, 2005). For example, mother tigers lick and nuzzle their babies, chimpanzees groom each other, and bear cubs wrestle with each other. ...
... It covers mainly the upper back area, extending from the neck to the lower waist, and it has pockets covering the shoulder blades, where shape-changing materials are placed. Studies have shown touch to be a powerful medium and of importance for our emotional well-being [23,31]. The back, together with hairy parts of our body are parts of the body that quickly assess the pleasantness of touch sensations [45]. ...
... In the Breathing Wings, this is shown by the design of intimate touch of the back. Intimate touch is known to be important for our emotional wellbeing [23,31], where the back plays a specific role in pleasant touch [45]. The Pelvic Chair could potentially help a large number of people suffering from weak pelvic floor musculature having problems with incontinence, involuntary flatulence, and prolapse causing social anxiety and depression [29]. ...
Article
We report on the design processes of two ongoing soma design projects: the Pelvic Chair and the Breathing Wings. These projects take a first-person, soma design approach, grounded in a holistic perspective of the mind and body (the soma). We contribute a reflective account of our soma design processes that deepens the field’s understanding of how soma design is achieved through first-person approaches. We show how we use our somas, our first-person experiences, to stimulate a design process, to prototype through and to use as a way of critiquing emerging designs. Grounding our analysis in new materialism, we show how our designs are in essence, “performative intra-actions”. Using our own somas, our designs open up for experiences within certain constraints, allowing for a material-discursive agency of sorts. Many different somas may be intra-acted through our designs, even if it was our somas who started them.
... 92). Since Montagu's foundational research on touch, scholars have researched several developmental aspects of its connection with communication, emotion, bonding, and sociality in infancy (Hertenstein, 2002;Feldman 2004Feldman , 2011 In this vein, I propose that the mother and infant nursing dyad constitutes a unit in a single intercorporeality affectively engaged in embodied emerging socialities (see Meyer et al., 2017). Merleau-Ponty metaphorically depicts intercorporeality or "carnal intersubjectivity" as "each of us [being] pregnant with the others and confirmed by them in his body" (1960/1964b: 181)din other words, as intentions and actions inhabiting one's own body as well as the other's body. ...
Article
This study examines the discursive, pragmatic, and embodied features of Mayan infants' distress management, focusing on two infant crying events in so-called problem–remedy sequences (Kidwell, 2011). The analysis shows that haptic–soothing trajectories (Cekaite and Holm Kvist, 2017) are distributed across multiple caregivers in multiparty participation frameworks that culminate in breastfeeding, analyzed here as the soothing nursing niche. This niche constitutes a locus of co-operative emotional calibration through haptic, visual, vocal, and pragmatic engagement between mother and infant. The pragmatics of mother-infant soothing is co-constructed through prosodic alignments, question–answer adjacency pairs, prompting, directives, reframing, and inferences attributing accountability to specific phenomena. The soothing resources are aimed at prompting the infant's emotional, conversational, and pragmatic responsiveness. Two crying events involving a baby girl at 13 and at 22 months old are analyzed. The study is rooted in over three decades of anthropological and linguistic research in the Tzotzil Mayan community of Zinacantán, México.
... We propose that certain types of social touch, such as stroking or tickling, that have a communicative role in early social interactions [8] and across the lifespan [40] are implicated in allostatic control ( Figure 2). Specifically, the role of affective, communicative touch is not only to match some fixed homeostatic setpoint as in the case of caregiving touch, but frequently this touch can be used to delay or change a variable setpoint according to contextual demands and long-term goals ( Figure 2). ...
Article
We focus on social touch as a paradigmatic case of the embodied, cognitive, and metacognitive processes involved in social, affective regulation. Social touch appears to contribute three interrelated but distinct functions to affective regulation. First, it regulates affects by fulfilling embodied predictions about social proximity and attachment. Second, caregiving touch, such as warming an infant, regulates affect by socially enacting homeostatic control and co-regulation of physiological states. Third, affective touch such as gentle stroking or tickling regulates affect by allostatic regulation of the salience and epistemic gain of particular experiences in given contexts and timescales. These three functions of affective touch are most likely mediated, at least partly, by different neurobiological processes, including convergent hedonic, dopaminergic and analgesic, opioidergic pathways for the attachment function, ‘calming’ autonomic and endocrine pathways for the homeostatic function, while the allostatic function may be mediated by oxytocin release and related ‘salience’ neuromodulators and circuits.
... It is important to note that CT-touch is part of a multimodal experience that becomes meaningful through the contingent integration of several sensory inputs. Infants, for instance, create contingent associations between several experienced vocal, tactile, and visual stimuli to structure the sensory input entering their system [85,86]. We suggest that CT-afferents may play a specific role within this building of meaningfulness. ...
Article
Co-sleeping facilitates physiological regulation and interpersonal trust between partners. Here we discuss the possibility that this effect depends on C-tactile (CT) afferents—a class of unmyelinated mechanosensory cutaneous skin nerves that underlie both parasympathetic regulation and the rewarding neurochemistry of endogenous opioids and oxytocin. The literature reports that insomnia-related problems result from an overall difficulty to de-arouse. Moreover, sleep loss is prevalent in somatosensory-poor contexts such as in Isolated, Confined and Extreme (ICE) contexts (e.g. Antarctica, Covid-19 pandemic). On this backdrop, we propose two mechanisms by which CT-afferents may moderate a touch-sleep association, that is, a long-term mechanism-dependent on epigenetic programming in the course of child development and a short-term mechanism-dependent on a CT-modulation of autonomic and endocrine processes.
... Ontogenetycznie najbardziej pierwotnym zmysłem jest dotyk (Maurer, Maurer, 1988). Wydaje się, że jest on najbardziej uniwersalnym narzędziem służącym regulacji poziomu pobudzenia dziecka, utrzymywaniu bliskości i komunikowania się z niemowlętami (Stack, 2008), a w szczególności przekazywaniu sygnałów emocjonalnych (Hertenstein, 2002). Kojące działanie ma zwłaszcza tzw. ...
Book
Full-text available
Książka przedstawia analizę interakcji dziecko–rodzic – narzędzie stosowane przez psychologów w procesie diagnozy oraz w badaniach naukowych. Celem książki jest dostarczenie Czytelnikowi podstawowych informacji teoretycznych i praktycznych, przygotowujących do używania analizy interakcji w praktyce klinicznej i w badaniach. Pierwsza część książki wprowadza w zagadnienie i przedstawia kolejne kroki analizy interakcji dziecko–rodzic oraz schematy oceny interakcji stosowane w badaniach naukowych. Druga część książki opisuje rozwój kompetencji interakcyjnych niemowlęcia oraz zawiera przegląd wyników badań nad interakcjami dziecko–rodzic w grupach dzieci z wybranymi zaburzeniami rozwoju.
... En lo que respecta a la etapa infantil, precisamente las diferentes formas de interacción de las que el niño participa han sido destacadas por numerosos autores como un importante elemento en su progresiva comprensión del mundo y en el desarrollo de la regulación afectiva (Hertenstein y Campos, 2001;Thelen, Schöner, Scheier y Smith, 2001). El contacto corporal se erige, así, como una vía básica de comunicación entre el niño y los adultos, contribuyendo a la regulación entre ambos (Hertenstein, 2002). ...
Book
Full-text available
En este libro se analizan las relaciones entre la corporalidad, las presentaciones sintomáticas actuales, la psicopatología infanto-juvenil, el psicoanálisis de orientación lacaniana y los estudios sobre desarrollo psicológico. A través del análisis conceptual y metateórico, la discusión de casos clínicos y el reporte de experiencias profesionales y de resultados de la investigación empírica, se aborda la importancia inédita que el cuerpo ha adquirido en nuestra época.
... Although the recognition of objects by sight is generally faster and more accurate, people's ability to identify 3D objects or faces explored haptically is actually quite good and haptic memories can last for a lifetime (Klatzky et al., 1985;Gallace and Spence, 2009). However, beyond its role in exploring and identifying stimuli in our environment, touch has also important social and communicative functions, and tactile experiences could elicit strong emotional experiences (Hertenstein, 2002;Gallace and Spence, 2010). Hence, touch might be another important -and thus far overlooked -portal to autobiographical memory. ...
Article
Full-text available
Our senses are constantly stimulated in our daily lives but we have only a limited understanding of how they affect our cognitive processes and, especially, our autobiographical memory. Capitalizing on a public science event, we conducted the first empirical study that aimed to compare the relative influence of the five senses on the access, temporal distribution, and phenomenological characteristics of autobiographical memories in a sample of about 400 participants. We found that the access and the phenomenological features of memories varied as a function of the type of sensory cues, but not their temporal distribution. With regard to their influence on autobiographical memory, an overlap between some senses was found, with on one hand, olfaction and taste and, on the other, vision, audition, and touch. We discuss these findings in the light of theories of perception, memory, and the self, and consider methodological implications of the sensory cuing technique in memory research, as well as clinical implications for research in psychopathological and neuropsychological populations.
... Proximity and touch are often intuitively used by caregivers to down-regulate infant distress or up-regulate positive engagement (Feldman, Magori-Cohen, Galili, Singer, & Louzoun, 2011;Hertenstein, 2002;Provasi, Anderson, & Barbu-Roth, 2014). Infants might perceive both stroking and cardiorespiratory patterns as forms of interpersonal rhythms when engaged in skin-to-skin contact. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Caregiver touch plays a vital role in infants’ growth and development across mammalian species, yet its potential role as a communicative signal in human parent-infant interactions has been sparsely investigated this far. We assessed whether touch enhances neural and physiological synchrony in caregiver-infant dyads. We simultaneously measured brain activity (through functional near-infrared spectroscopy) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (through electrocardiography) of 69 4- to 6-month-old infants and their mothers in distal and proximate non-interactive conditions vs. an interactive condition. Findings revealed that neural synchrony was highest during the interaction, next in the proximate, and lowest in the distal non-interactive condition. Physiological synchrony was highest during the interaction and lower in both non-interactive conditions. Furthermore, maternal affectionate touch during the interaction was positively related to neural but not physiological synchrony. This is the first evidence showing that touch mediates mutual attunement of brain activities in infants and their caregivers in naturalistic interactions. Open Science Practices Preregistration: https://aspredicted.org/blind.php?x=6hy5n6
... We propose that certain types of social touch, such as stroking or tickling, that have a communicative role in early social interactions [8] and across the lifespan [40] are implicated in allostatic control ( Figure 2). Specifically, the role of affective, communicative touch is not only to match some fixed homeostatic setpoint as in the case of caregiving touch, but frequently this touch can be used to delay or change a variable setpoint according to contextual demands and long-term goals ( Figure 2). ...
Preprint
We focus on social touch as a paradigmatic case of a unifying perspective on the embodied, cognitive and metacognitive processes involved in social, affective regulation. Social touch appears to have three interrelated but distinct functions in affective regulation. First, it regulates affects by fulfilling embodied expectations about social proximity and attachment, mostly likely by convergent hedonic, dopaminergic and analgesic, opioidergic pathways. Second, caregiving touch such as feeding or warming an infant regulates affect by socially enacting homeostatic control and co-regulation of physiological states, most likely by corresponding ‘calming’ autonomic and endocrine pathways. Third, affective touch such as gentle stroking, kissing or tickling regulates affect by allostatic regulation of the salience and epistemic gain of particular experiences in given contexts and timescales, possibly regulated by oxytocin release and related ‘salience’ neuromodulators and circuits.
... A necessary prerequisite for developing positive prosocial behavior and both maternal and extra-maternal social bonds is the ability to perceive and adaptively learn to react to various cues from conspecifics (Ardiel & Rankin, 2010;Barnett, 2005;Dunbar, 2010;Hertenstein, 2002). For instance, a number of studies have found that behaviors involving the exchange of nonaggressive touching (e.g., reciprocal grooming) between individuals are linked to social bonding in nonhuman primates including macaques (Majolo et al., 2012) and chimpanzees (Newton-Fisher & Lee, 2011). ...
Article
African elephant calves are highly social and their behavioral development depends heavily on interactions with other elephants. Evaluating early social behaviors offers important information that can inform management decisions and maximize individual- and population-level welfare. We use data collected from the population of elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, CA to evaluate developmental trajectories of spatial independence and social behavior in nine elephant calves across a range of ages. As calves aged, the probability of being further from mothers also increased. Tactile interactions were common among calves, with all individuals either initiating or receiving physical touches from other elephants in a large proportion of focal scans. While the probability of initiating tactile interactions tended to decline with increases in calf age, the probability of receiving tactile interactions from other elephants remained invariant with regard to this variable. The social play was also common, occurring in a fifth of all focal scans. While there was evidence that social play tended to decline with increases in calf age, results suggest additional factors may be useful in characterizing patterns in play behavior at the individual level. Calves most frequently engaged in play with individuals of similar age but showed substantial variation in play partner choice. Results of this study suggest that maintaining groups of elephants in captivity with diverse age structure positively contribute to their healthy social development. Highlights • 1. Cross-sectional study of a large population of captive African elephant calves showed significant age-related changes in indicators of maternal independence and social development. • 2. Interactions with other elephants of diverse age classes, including social touch and play, are highly relevant across early developmental stages and likely promote prosocial behavior and elephant welfare in captive settings.
... Early interactions with a parent provide the foundation for infant cognitive and socioemotional development (Raby et al., 2015;Mermelshtine and Barnes, 2016). Affectionate touch, which includes non-noxious light stroking, pressure, and holding, is a unique and essential feature of an infant's interpersonal landscape (Hertenstein, 2002). The sensation of affectionate touch begins in the skin, where a variety of low-threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMRs) respond to different aspects of tactile stimulation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Though rarely included in studies of parent–infant interactions, affectionate touch plays a unique and vital role in infant development. Previous studies in human and rodent models have established that early and consistent affectionate touch from a caregiver confers wide-ranging and holistic benefits for infant psychosocial and neurophysiological development. We begin with an introduction to the neurophysiological pathways for the positive effects of touch. Then, we provide a brief review of how affectionate touch tunes the development of infant somatosensory, autonomic (stress regulation), and immune systems. Affective touch also plays a foundational role in the establishment of social affiliative bonds and early psychosocial behavior. These touch-related bonding effects are known to be mediated primarily by the oxytocin system, but touch also activates mesocorticolimbic dopamine and endogenous opioid systems which aid the development of social cognitive processes such as social learning and reward processing. We conclude by proposing a unique role for affectionate touch as an essential pathway to establishing and maintaining parent-infant interactional synchrony at behavioral and neural levels. The limitations of the current understanding of affectionate touch in infant development point to fruitful avenues for future research.
... Whereas empathy is defi ned as a person's ability to recognize someone else's situation and share the emotions of another person ( Halpern 2001 , 85), compassion builds upon empathy but is associated with acts and active desire to alleviate the others' suffering. Touch, as demonstrated by cross-cultural developmental and evolutionary investigation of prosocial behavior, is undoubtedly recognized as a part of compassionate acts across cultural contexts ( Hertenstein 2002 ;Takada 2005 ;Goetz et al. 2010 ;de León 2012 ;Bergnéhr and Cekaite 2018 ;Goodwin and Cekaite 2018 ). Physiological soothing properties of touch contact are described by research taking a neuro-affective perspective: touch can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and reduce activation in stress-related regions of the brain when pain is experienced or anticipated ( Goetz et al. 2010 ). ...
... Both Ainsworth [31] and Anisfeld [32] showed that closer and more frequent physical contact between mothers and their young infants promoted the development of a more secure attachment. From the earliest encounters after birth touch holds a communicative and regulatory function [33]. Mercuri et al. [34] showed that in the postpartum both parents interact with their newborns by means of diverse touching behaviours, with a preference for stroking and caressing. ...
Article
Full-text available
The sense of touch develops early in life and becomes a determinant aspect of our personal narratives, providing crucial information about the world around us and playing a prominent role in affective and social interactions. In this study we aimed to explore whether individual differences in touch experiences across the lifespan are related to adult attachment styles and to perceived touch deprivation. For this we first developed an instrument, namely the Tactile Biography, to quantify individual differences in affective touch experiences throughout life. Secondly, we performed a set of regressions models and a mediation analysis to investigate the role of attachment in relation to both the tactile history and perceived touch deprivation. We found that experiences of affective touch during childhood and adolescence seem to be closely associated with adult attachment styles and adult social touch experiences. Avoidant attachment appears to serve as a mediator in the relationship between earlier (childhood/adolescent) and later (adult) affective touch experiences, as well as between earlier affective touch experiences and perceived touch deprivation. These findings offer further support to existing literature, providing novel insights for the fields of social affective touch and attachment research.
... Touch is often referred to as the earliest sense to develop (e.g., Fulkerson, 2014) and an important means of contact between an infant and their caregiver (Hertenstein, 2002). Studies suggest that tactile stimulation provided by the caregiver is crucial for the offspring's well-being, both in rats (e.g., Parent et al., 2017;Suchecki et al., 1993) and in monkeys (e.g., Harlow & Zimmermann, 1959;Simpson et al., 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
Naturally occurring high levels of caregiver touch promote offspring development in many animal species. Yet, caregiver touch remains a relatively understudied topic in human development, possibly due to challenges of measuring this means of interaction. While parental reports (e.g., questionnaires, diaries) are easy to collect, they may be subject to biases and memory limitations. In contrast, observing touch in a short session of parent-child interaction in the lab may not be representative of touch interaction in daily life. In the present study we compared parent-reports (one-off questionnaires and diary) and observation-based methods in a sample of German 6-to 13-month-olds and their primary caregivers (n= 71). In an attempt to characterize touching behaviours across a broad range of contexts, we measured touch both during play and while the parent was engaged in another activity. We found that context affected both the quantity and types of touch used in interaction. Parent-reported touch was moderately associated with touch observed in parent-child interactions and more strongly with touch used during play. We conclude that brief one-off questionnaires are a good indicator of touch in parent-child interaction, yet they may be biased towards representing particular daily activities and particular types of touch.
... Güçlü dokunuş, bir gösterimi düzenleme, mola vermeyi sağlama gibi çocuğun bedensel eylemlerini disipline etmek için kullanılabilir (McIlvenny, 2009). Dokunma hareketleri; vuruş, tutuş, kavrama, sürtünme ve benzerleri gibi doğası, hızı, konumu, süresi, sıklığı ve dokunulan yüzeyin alanına göre değişir (Hertenstein, 2002). Nazik ritmik vuruş, pozitif bebek gelişimini destekler ve daha sonraki saldırganlık ve zihinsel sağlık sorunları ile bağlantılı olan ani, sert veya sınırlı dokunuşun neden olduğu agresyon ve mental problemleri engeller (Blackwell, 2000). ...
... caresses. De plus, les auteurs observèrent des variations en durée et en intensité : la colère est transmise par des touchers forts en intensité et modérés en durée, et l'amour par des touchers modérés en intensité et longs en durée(Hertenstein, 2002;Hertenstein et al., 2006). ...
Thesis
Le toucher dans l’interaction sociale a largement été étudié en coprésence. Ses nombreuses fonctions ont ainsi été mises en évidence dans divers contextes. Contexte qui apparaît comme crucial pour la compréhension des touchers. Cependant, les études réalisées à l’aide de dispositifs technologiques de toucher social médié se font pour la majorité hors contexte. Suivant une approche interactionniste de la communication, nous considérons que le sens du toucher est co-élaboré dans l’interaction par les participants à partir du contexte, et que ce contexte évolue au cours de l’interaction. Nous avons ainsi construit un cadre méthodologique permettant la mise en évidence des significations et fonctions du toucher social médié, ainsi que les processus sousjacents de co-élaboration. Dans une première étude, la récente pandémie de COVID-19 nous permet de constater les processus d’élaboration collective des nouvelles pratiques de toucher social. Deuxièmement, avec l’étude du toucher social médié hors contexte, nous mettons en évidence la possibilité de communiquer des significations émotionnelles à partir de stimuli visuo-tactiles (couleurs et vibrations). Dernièrement, au travers de deux études du toucher médié dans l’interaction sociale, nous soulignons trois catégories de fonctions du toucher médié, avec une redistribution fonctionnelle entre les modalités de l’interaction en comparaison aux interactions en coprésence. De plus, nous relevons les processus de coélaboration de ces fonctions, principalement basés sur le contexte interactionnel, soulignant la construction dans l’interaction des associations formes - fonctions.
... In many cases, infant crying is primarily soothed by actions that require touch, whether that is feeding, removal of wet or soiled diapers or clothing, or being held and rocked. Especially during early stages of development, touch is a primary source of communication, conveying different meanings through the duration, velocity, and frequency of physical contact (Hertenstein, 2002;Kirsch et al., 2018). Caregiver playful touch has been shown to increase infant positive affect (Egmose et al., 2018) and to calm infants in pain or discomfort (Bellieni et al., 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
Human infancy and early childhood is both a time of heightened brain plasticity and responsivity to the environment as well as a developmental period of dependency on caregivers for survival, nurturance, and stimulation. Across primate species and human evolutionary history, close contact between infants and caregivers is species-expected. As children develop, caregiver–child proximity patterns change as children become more autonomous. In addition to developmental changes, there is variation in caregiver–child proximity across cultures and families, with potential implications for child functioning. We propose that caregiver–child proximity is an important dimension for understanding early environments, given that interactions between children and their caregivers are a primary source of experience-dependent learning. We review approaches for operationalizing this construct (e.g., touch, physical distance) and highlight studies that illustrate how caregiver–child proximity can be measured. Drawing on the concepts proposed in dimensional models of adversity, we consider how caregiver–child proximity may contribute to our understanding of children’s early experiences. Finally, we discuss future directions in caregiver–child proximity research with the goal of understanding the link between early experiences and child adaptive and maladaptive functioning.
... This will aid in regulating allostasis via interoceptive AI by invoking specific hierarchical precision weighted predictions and prediction errors to achieve homeostasis (Stack and Muir, 1990;Mateus et al., 2021). Observing touch or experiencing precise tactile behaviors assists individuals in accurately identifying another's emotional state including anger, love, sympathy, fear and gratitude with up to 83% accuracy, thus increasing the benefit of touch including analgesia (Hertenstein, 2002;Hertenstein et al., 2006b;Goldstein et al., 2016). Moreover, reduced pain has been recorded when one feels they have been understood by another, a phenomenon arguably modulated by activity within the reward system and the cingulate cortex (Eisenberger, 2012;Oishi et al., 2013;Jensen et al., 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing and aligning individuals' unique adaptive beliefs or 'priors' through cooperative communication is critical to establishing a therapeutic relationship and alliance. Using active inference, we present an empirical integrative account of the biobehavioural mechanisms that underwrite therapeutic relationships. A significant mode of establishing cooperative alliances—and potential synchrony relationships—is through ostensive cues generated by repetitive coupling during dynamic touch. Established models speak to the unique role of affectionate touch in developing communication, interpersonal interactions, and a wide variety of therapeutic benefits for patients of all ages; both neurophysiologically and behaviourally. The purpose of this article is to argue for the importance of therapeutic touch in establishing a therapeutic alliance and, ultimately, synchrony between practitioner and patient. We briefly overview the importance and role of therapeutic alliance in prosocial and clinical interactions. We then discuss how cooperative communication and mental state alignment—in intentional communication—are accomplished using active inference. The ensuing account is extended to include the role of (C-) tactile afferents in realizing the beneficial effect of therapeutic synchrony. We conclude by proposing a method for synchronizing the effects of touch using the concept of active inference.
... This will aid in regulating allostasis via interoceptive AI by invoking specific hierarchical precision weighted predictions and prediction errors to achieve homeostasis (Stack and Muir, 1990;Mateus et al., 2021). Observing touch or experiencing precise tactile behaviors assists individuals in accurately identifying another's emotional state including anger, love, sympathy, fear and gratitude with up to 83% accuracy, thus increasing the benefit of touch including analgesia (Hertenstein, 2002;Hertenstein et al., 2006b;Goldstein et al., 2016). Moreover, reduced pain has been recorded when one feels they have been understood by another, a phenomenon arguably modulated by activity within the reward system and the cingulate cortex (Eisenberger, 2012;Oishi et al., 2013;Jensen et al., 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing and aligning individuals’ unique adaptive beliefs or “priors” through cooperative communication is critical to establishing a therapeutic relationship and alliance. Using active inference, we present an empirical integrative account of the biobehavioral mechanisms that underwrite therapeutic relationships. A significant mode of establishing cooperative alliances—and potential synchrony relationships—is through ostensive cues generated by repetitive coupling during dynamic touch. Established models speak to the unique role of affectionate touch in developing communication, interpersonal interactions, and a wide variety of therapeutic benefits for patients of all ages; both neurophysiologically and behaviorally. The purpose of this article is to argue for the importance of therapeutic touch in establishing a therapeutic alliance and, ultimately, synchrony between practitioner and patient. We briefly overview the importance and role of therapeutic alliance in prosocial and clinical interactions. We then discuss how cooperative communication and mental state alignment—in intentional communication—are accomplished using active inference. We argue that alignment through active inference facilitates synchrony and communication. The ensuing account is extended to include the role of (C-) tactile afferents in realizing the beneficial effect of therapeutic synchrony. We conclude by proposing a method for synchronizing the effects of touch using the concept of active inference.
... For example, one of the least investigated communication sense modalities is affectionate touch, yet touch is vitally important in an infant's interpersonal social landscape (Hertenstein, 2002), and is entirely missing in virtual (online) social interactions. ...
Article
Full-text available
Infant development depends on warm, responsive social interactions that richly stimulate the senses, acting through multiple pathways to orchestrate healthy maturation of the neonatal brain, mind, and body. Conversely, adverse early experiences seed vulnerabilities for poor cognition and emotional instability. Although we routinely measure many aspects of infant physical health (hearing, weight), no clinical tools currently exist to measure early psychosocial health and brain development. Here, neural sociometrics (real-time multi-sensor imaging of adult–infant social interactive behavior and neurophysiology) is discussed as one possible precision measurement framework. Early psychosocial health screening, paired with precision therapeutics, could fundamentally alter a child's development trajectory toward lifelong mental well-being and productivity. Further, population-level measurements of social brain health could forecast mental capital growth (and deficits) for entire communities and generations. This article calls for the prioritized development of early scalable diagnostic instruments to reveal the status of infant mental wellbeing and brain health.
... Accessibility is clearly relevant under the umbrella of sensitive, responsive parenting; nevertheless, coding maternal attention to capture maternal accessibility has not been integrated into mainstream sensitive parenting behaviors, nor instruments or measurements of sensitivity. In a similar vein, touch between mother and child does not receive as much attention as other modes of communication within the dyad (infant touch has adequate research, but not in the context of mother-child communication) (Hertenstein, 2002). According to Ferber, Feldman, & Makhoul (2008), maternal touch is related to sensitivity and the degree of reciprocity and synchrony between mother and child; however there is not adequate research on the benefit of including maternal touch as a characteristic of supportive parenting. ...
Article
This project aimed to examine the mother-child dyad during the second year (toddlerhood) in regards to sensitive parenting, with valuable insight into the naturalistic setting of the home (as opposed to a laboratory). With a subset of participants from the National Institute of Health sponsored study, The Play and Learning Across a Year Project (The PLAY Project), I evaluated mother-child dyads and the contact between them, in regards to supportive vs. restrictive touch; as well as attention paid to the child by the mother. Hour-long videos taken in the home environment were analyzed with Datavyu coding software to catch instances of contact and code attention. Children in the available subject pool were either 12, 18, or 24 months old (n = 4 total). I hypothesized that supportive contact and maternal attention were both valid constructs to gauge maternal sensitivity; this contradicts the number of global rating scales of maternal sensitivity that exclude interpersonal touch and maternal attention.
... Touch, posture and vocal cues are argued to be important cues to intentions (Akhtar & Gernsbacher, 2008), and therefore central in communication development. For infants, touch is the first sensory modality to develop (Montagu, 1986), and is arguably the most important contributor in infant development of communication, attachment and emotional regulation (Cascio et al., 2019;Hertenstein, 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
The importance of care of infants and children in palaeoanthropological and human behavioural ecological research on the evolution of our species is evident in the diversity of research on human development , alloparental care, and learning and social interaction. There has been a recent surge of interest in modelling the social implications of care provision for people with serious disabilities in bioarchaeology. However, there is a lack of acknowledgement of infant and child care in bioarchaeology, despite the significant labour and resources that are required, and the implications this has for health outcomes within societies. Drawing on the recent proliferation of studies on infancy and childhood in evolutionary anthropology and bioarchaeology, this paper presents ways the subdisciplines may draw on research developments from each field to advance a more holistic understanding of the evolutionary, social and health significance of infant and children care in the past. Media summary: A tool for evolutionary anthropology and bioarchaeology to produce a holistic understanding of infant care in the past.
... At the same time, these works do consider social touch to be bidirectional and reciprocal in nature (Muir, 2002;Hertenstein et al., 2006;Fairhurst et al., 2022), and most researchers agree that the context in which social touch occurs is important (Jones and Yarbrough, 1985;Hertenstein, 2002;Saarinen et al., 2021). In their definition of tactile communication, Hertenstein et al. (2006) remark that social touch is "almost always bidirectional and contingent" (Hertenstein et al. 2006, p.8; see also Muir 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
Research on mediated social touch (MST) has, either implicitly or explicitly, built on theoretical assumptions regarding social interactions that align with “theory theory” or “simulation theory” of social cognition. However, these approaches struggle to explain MST interactions that occur outside of a laboratory setting. I briefly discuss these approaches and will argue in favor of an alternative, “interaction theory” approach to the study of MST. I make three suggestions for future research to focus on.
Article
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the communicative functions of mutual touch during mother-infant interactions and their relation with infants’ affect and the quality of the mother-infant relationship. The two normal periods of the Still-Face procedure were examined for mothers and their 5½-month-old full-term (n=40) and very low-birthweight/preterm (VLBW/preterm; n=40) infants. The Functions of Mother-Infant Mutual Touch Scale was used to code the function of each mutual touch. Results indicated that full-term infant-mother dyads spent significantly more time engaged in playful and regulatory mutual touch compared to VLBW/preterm infant-mother dyads who spent significantly more time engaged in attention-centered, unbalanced, and guided mutual touch. Infant smiling was found to significantly co-occur with playful mutual touch for both the full-term and VLBW/preterm infants, while fretting co-occurred with unbalanced mutual touch for VLBW/preterm infants. Higher levels of maternal sensitivity and regulatory mutual touch were associated for full-term dyads, while lower levels of maternal sensitivity were associated with unbalanced mutual touch for VLBW/preterm dyads. Results from this study enable a more comprehensive understanding of the functions of mutual touching, and suggest key differences in which mutual touching behaviours are organized with infants’ affect and relationship dimensions between mothers and their infants.
Book
The attachment theory or bonding theory is a psychodynamic notion that deals with the developmental aspects of a child. A key element of this theory is the view of the child as a sophisticated individual who, during the first years of life, forms behavioral systems depending on the primary caregiver or attachment person and the interaction with him. Based on learning and gaining experience, the child builds internal working models, which it uses later in life in a relationship level and applies them in the context of life changes. However, the relationship can also change over the life in connection with the life situations in which the individual finds himself. He often has to deal with difficult circumstances that will lead him to a correct experience and help him continue to develop personally. The offered monograph entitled Attachment in the context of life changes – a basic overview of selected theoretical aspects and research findings is designed into eight separate units – chapters that differ thematically. The chapters relate to various aspects from which the central theme of the monograph is described, namely ontogenetical, diagnostic, social, interpersonal, neuropsychological, psychopathological, therapeutic and developmental. The individual chapters range from three to five subchapters as logical areas related to the given content. The structure of the book consists of an introduction, a scientific text of individual chapters and a conclusion. The following is a list of used expert literature. The book is reviewed by two independent foreign reviewers – doc. PhDr. Dr. Phil. Laura Janáčková, CSc. and doc. ThDr. Prokop Patrik Maturkanič, PhD., CFSsS, who also wrote introductory words to the presented monograph. The publication was published by the University of Applied Psychology in Terezín in its first edition in the form of a university textbook. The textbook was printed in a volume of 200 copies in the Slovak language. All copyrights as the owner of this book of intellectual property belong to PhDr. Ivana Tomanová Čergeťová, PhD.
Article
Touch is a powerful communication tool, but we have a limited understanding of the role played by particular physical features of interpersonal touch communication. In this study, adults living in Sweden performed a task in which messages (attention, love, happiness, calming, sadness, and gratitude) were conveyed by a sender touching the forearm of a receiver, who interpreted the messages. Two experiments ( N = 32, N = 20) showed that within close relationships, receivers could identify the intuitive touch expressions of the senders, and we characterized the physical features of the touches associated with successful communication. Facial expressions measured with electromyography varied by message but were uncorrelated with communication performance. We developed standardized touch expressions and quantified the physical features with 3D hand tracking. In two further experiments ( N = 20, N = 16), these standardized expressions were conveyed by trained senders and were readily understood by strangers unacquainted with the senders. Thus, the possibility emerges of a standardized, intuitively understood language of social touch.
Article
Full-text available
Affectionate touch is an important behavior in close relationships throughout the lifespan. Research has investigated the relational and individual psychological and physical benefits of affectionate touch, but the situational factors that give rise to it have been overlooked. Theorizing from the interpersonal process model of intimacy, the current studies tested whether perceived partner responsiveness forecasts affectionate touch in romantic couples. Following a preliminary integrative data analysis ( N = 842), three prospective studies use ecologically valid behavioral (Studies 1 and 2) and daily (Studies 2 and 3) data, showing a positive association between perceived partner responsiveness and affectionate touch. Furthermore, in Study 3, we tested a theoretical extension of the interpersonal process of intimacy, finding that affectionate touch forecasts the partner’s perception of the touch-giver’s responsiveness the next day. Findings suggest affectionate touch may be an untested mechanism at the heart of the interpersonal process of intimacy.
Article
Our understanding of touch as a basic and complex sense is informed by phenomenological perspectives on our corporeal “being-in-the-world” and the notion of intercorporeality (Merleau-Ponty 1964) as well as by sociological perspectives on social life as organized and accomplished through corporeal participation and the interaction order (Goffman 1983). Intercorporeality involves sense-making of oneself and copresent others as body subjects, active in (re)producing a corporeal interaction order that is understood as tactile as well as visual and sonorous. In our review of contemporary ethnographic work, we direct our attention to touch and social interaction and discuss ( a) ritualized supportive interchanges; ( b) moves of compassion that calm a distressed child; ( c) forms of control that socialize the body and gain attention, in particular to create multisensorial, instructional environments; and ( d) forms of touch during care and bodywork in medical and therapeutic contexts. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Anthropology, Volume 50 is October 2021. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
Article
Background Infant massage, in which mothers stroke their infant’s skin slowly and gently, can cause pleasant sensations in the infant that can be affected by the velocity of massage. However, the massage velocity at which infants feel the most pleasant sensations remains unclear. Objective To investigate the effects of massage velocity on heart rate (HR) and HR variability (HRV) in healthy infants. Method Twenty-two infant-mother dyads two to seven months of age were recruited. Mothers stroked their infant’s skin at three massage velocities (5.0, 7.5, and 10.0 cm/s) in a randomized order for 15 min. The rhythm of massage velocity was calculated according to the length of three body areas. The massage velocity of the mothers was regulated using a metronome. HR and HRV (high frequency [HF] and low frequency [LF]) were measured at rest and during massage for each velocity. The effects on pleasantness were evaluated using percent change in median baseline value compared with median values for the three massage velocities. Statistical analysis was performed using analysis of variance mixed effect models to exclude “period” and “carryover” effects during massage. Results When measuring HF, massage (7.5 cm/s) caused a significant increase in pleasantness compared with 10.0 cm/s (p = 0.04). The HR and LF/HF ratio were not significantly changed between velocities. Conclusion Results of this study suggested that a massage velocity of 7.5 cm/s was the most pleasant for infants. Future research should investigate the relationship between an infant massage by optimal velocity and infant development in longitudinal studies.
Article
Full-text available
This qualitative exploratory research paper presents a Manifesto for Digital Social Touch in Crisis - a provocative call to action to designers, developers and researchers to rethink and reimagine social touch through a deeper engagement with the social and sensory aspects of touch. This call is motivated by concerns that social touch is in a crisis signaled by a decline in social touch over the past 2 decades, the problematics of inappropriate social touch, and the well documented impact of a lack of social touch on communication, relationships, and well-being and health. These concerns shape how social touch enters the digital realm and raise questions for how and when the complex space of social touch is mediated by technologies, as well the societal implications. The paper situates the manifesto in the key challenges facing haptic designers and developers identified through a series of interdisciplinary collaborative workshops with participants from computer science, design, engineering, HCI and social science from both within industry and academia, and the research literature on haptics. The features and purpose of the manifesto form are described, along with our rationale for its use, and the method of the manifesto development. The starting points, opportunities and challenges, dominant themes and tensions that shaped the manifesto statements are then elaborated on. The paper shows the potential of the manifesto form to bridge between HCI, computer science and engineers, and social scientists on the topic of social touch.
Preprint
Full-text available
Touch is a powerful communication tool, but we have a limited understanding of the role played by particular physical features of interpersonal touch communication. In this study, adults living in Sweden performed a task in which messages (attention, love, happiness, calming, sadness and gratitude) were conveyed by a sender touching the forearm of a receiver, who interpreted the messages. Two experiments (n=32, n=20) showed that within close relationships, receivers could identify the intuitive touch expressions of the senders, and we characterized the physical features of the touches associated with successful communication. Facial expressions measured with EMG varied by message, but were uncorrelated with communication performance. We developed standardized touch expressions and quantified the physical features with 3D hand-tracking. In two further experiments (n=20, n=16), these were conveyed by trained senders and were readily understood by naïve strangers. Thus, the possibility emerges of a standardized, intuitively understood language of social touch.
Article
Sensitive periods soon after birth seem to be crucial for mapping brain networks and enable the development of healthy sensory responses in adulthood. Affective tactile experiences are at the core of interpersonal interactions in the neonatal period and represent a scaffolding for early development of autonomic self-regulation, which then becomes part of more complex patterns of social exchanges and executive functions across the first years of life. In the present article we reviewed recent studies that investigated physiological and behavioural responses to tactile stimulations across development, supporting our claim that affective touch is an essential part of early emerging self-regulatory skills with important cascade effects on infants’ socio-emotional and cognitive developmental trajectories.
Article
This longitudinal study investigates infants' touching behaviors with others during naturalistic observations in a daycare center in Japan. Interactions between eight infants and their caretakers during free play time were videotaped. The obtained data were examined based on infants' postures and the body parts used to engage in interpersonal touch during locomotor development. As the locomotor period progressed from crawling to walking, the infants made bodily contact more frequently. When they were crawlers, incidental touch occurred often, but with progress in locomotion, purposeful (instrumental and social) touch became more common. Infants' purposeful touch occurred more frequently when they used their hands than when they used other body parts to touch. Touching with hands was more frequent when (a) infants who were able to walk were in walking postures than when they were unable to walk and in crawling postures; (b) infants who could walk were in sitting postures than when they could not walk and were in sitting postures, and (c) infants who could walk were in standing postures than when they were in sitting postures. Infants' locomotor development freed infants' hands from locomotion, and overall progress in physical coordination helped infants maintain balance. These advances in motor development made infants' touch behaviors social.
Article
Joint attention (JA) is an early manifestation of social cognition, commonly described as interactions in which an infant looks or gestures to an adult female to share attention about an object, within a positive emotional atmosphere. We label this description the JA phenotype. We argue that characterizing JA in this way reflects unexamined assumptions which are, in part, due to past developmental researchers' primary focus on western, middle‐class infants and families. We describe a range of cultural variations in caregiving practices, socialization goals, and parenting ethnotheories as an essential initial step in viewing joint attention within inclusive and contextualized perspectives. We begin the process of conducting a decolonized study of JA by considering the core construct of joint attention (i.e., triadic connectedness) and adopting culturally inclusive definitions (labeled joint engagement [JE]). Our JE definitions allow for attention and engagement to be expressed in visual and tactile modalities (e.g., for infants experiencing distal or proximal caregiving), with various social partners (e.g., peers, older siblings, mothers), with a range of shared topics (e.g., representing diverse socialization goals, and socio‐ecologies with and without toys), and with a range of emotional tone (e.g., for infants living in cultures valuing calmness and low arousal, and those valuing exuberance). Our definition of JE includes initiations from either partner (to include priorities for adult‐led or child‐led interactions). Our next foundational step is making an ecological commitment to naturalistic observations (Dahl, 2017, Child Dev Perspect, 11(2), 79–84): We measure JE while infants interact within their own physical and social ecologies. This commitment allows us to describe JE as it occurs in everyday contexts, without constraints imposed by researchers. Next, we sample multiple groups of infants drawn from diverse socio‐ecological settings. Moreover, we include diverse samples of chimpanzee infants to compare with diverse samples of human infants, to investigate the extent to which JE is unique to humans, and to document diversity both within and between species. We sampled human infants living in three diverse settings. U.K. infants (n = 8) were from western, middle‐class families living near universities in the south of England. Nso infants (n = 12) were from communities of subsistence farmers in Cameroon, Africa. Aka infants (n = 10) were from foraging communities in the tropical rain forests of Central African Republic, Africa. We coded behavioral details of JE from videotaped observations (taken between 2004 and 2010). JE occurred in the majority of coded intervals (Mdn = 68%), supporting a conclusion that JE is normative for human infants. The JA phenotype, in contrast, was infrequent, and significantly more common in the U.K. (Mdn = 10%) than the other groups (Mdn < 3%). We found significant within‐species diversity in JE phenotypes (i.e., configurations of predominant forms of JE characteristics). We conclude that triadic connectedness is very common in human infants, but there is significant contextualization of behavioral forms of JE. We also studied chimpanzee infants living in diverse socio‐ecologies. The PRI/Zoo chimpanzee infants (n = 7) were from captive, stable groups of mixed ages and sexes, and included 4 infants from the Chester Zoo, U.K. and 3 from the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan. The Gombe chimpanzee infants (n = 12) were living in a dynamically changing, wild community in the Gombe National Park, Tanzania, Africa. Additionally, we include two Home chimpanzee infants who were reared from birth by a female scientist, in the combined U.S., middle‐class contexts of home and university cognition laboratory. JE was coded from videotaped observations (taken between 1993 and 2006). JE occurred during the majority of coded intervals (Mdn = 64%), consistent with the position that JE is normative for chimpanzee infants. The JA phenotype, in contrast, was rare, but more commonly observed in the two Home chimpanzee infants (in 8% and 2% of intervals) than in other chimpanzee groups (Mdns = 0%). We found within‐species diversity in the configurations comprising the JE phenotypes. We conclude that triadic connectedness is very common in chimpanzee infants, but behavioral forms of joint engagement are contextualized. We compared JE across species, and found no species‐uniqueness in behavioral forms, JE characteristics, or JE phenotypes. Both human and chimpanzee infants develop contextualized social cognition. Within‐species diversity is embraced when triadic connectedness is described with culturally inclusive definitions. In contrast, restricting definitions to the JA phenotype privileges a behavioral form most valued in western, middle‐class socio‐ecologies, irrespective of whether the interactions involve human or chimpanzee infants. Our study presents a model for how to decolonize an important topic in developmental psychology. Decolonization is accomplished by defining the phenomenon inclusively, embracing diversity in sampling, challenging claims of human‐uniqueness, and having an ecological commitment to observe infant social cognition as it occurs within everyday socio‐ecological contexts. It is essential that evolutionary and developmental theories of social cognition are re‐built on more inclusive and decolonized empirical foundations.
Article
Despite the importance of touch in human–human relations, research in affective tactile practices is in its infancy, lacking in-depth understanding needed to inform the design of remote digital touch communication. This article reports two qualitative studies that explore tactile affective communication in specific social contexts, and the bi-directional creation, sending and interpretation of digital touch messages using a purpose-built research tool, the Tactile Emoticon. The system comprises a pair of remotely connected mitts, which enable users in different locations to communicate through tactile messages, by orchestrating duration and level of three haptic sensations: vibration, pressure and temperature. Qualitative analysis shows the nuanced ways in which 68 participants configured these elements to make meaning from touch messages they sent and received. It points to the affect and emotion of touch, its sensoriality and ambiguity, the significance of context, social norms and expectations of touch participants. Findings suggest key design considerations for digital touch communication, where the emphasis shifts from generating ‘recognizable touches’ to tools that allow people to shape their touches and establish common understanding about their meaning.
Article
Full-text available
Caregiver touch is crucial for infants' healthy development, but its role in shaping infant cognition has been relatively understudied. In particular, despite strong premises to hypothesize its function in directing infant attention to social information, little empirical evidence exists on the topic. In this study, we investigated the associations between naturally occurring variation in caregiver touch and infant social attention in a group of 6-to 13-month-old infants (n = 71). Additionally, we measured infant salivary oxytocin as a possible mediator of the effects of touch on infant social attention. The hypothesized effects were investigated both short term, with respect to touch observed during parent-infant interactions in the lab, and long term, with respect to parent-reported patterns of everyday touching behaviors. We did not find evidence that caregiver touch predicts infant social attention or salivary oxytocin levels, short term or long term. However, we found that salivary oxytocin predicted infant preferential attention to faces relative to nonsocial objects, measured in an eye-tracking task. Our findings confirm the involvement of oxytocin in social orienting in infancy, but raise questions regarding the possible environmental factors influencing the infant oxytocin system.
Article
Comforting touch involves contact distress-alleviating behaviors of an observer towards the suffering of a target. A growing number of studies have investigated the effects of touch on pain attenuation, focusing on the (toucher), the target (comforted) or both. Here we synthesize findings of brain mechanisms underlying comforting touch in the target and toucher to propose an integrative brain model for understanding how touch attenuates distress. Building on evidence from the pain and distress literatures, our model applies interchangeably to pain and distress regulation. We describe comforting touch as a feedback-loop that begins with distress experienced by the target, triggering an empathic response in the toucher which in turn reduces distress in the target. This cycle is mediated by interactions between the neural circuits associated with touch perception, shared distress, emotion regulation and reward as well as brain-to-brain coupling in the observation-execution system. We conclude that formulating a model of comforting touch offers a mechanistic framework for understanding the effects of touch as well as other social interactions involving social support.
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the relationship between smile type and play type during parent-infant interactions in the home. Thirty-six mother-infant and father-infant dyads were videotaped playing for 10 min. Smile type (basic, Duchenne, and duplay smiles) and play type (object, physical, vocal, and book reading) were coded. Results of loglinear analysis indicated that different types of smiles occur during different types of play more often than expected if distributed equally. In addition, different smile-type and play-type patterns occurred for father-infant dyads compared with mother-infant dyads. Qualitative analyses were used to generate hypotheses about the reasons why different types of smiles occurred during various play activities.
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines the definition of emotion and how emotions develop. Although many researchers speak of the development of emotion, there is neither consensus about what emotions are nor what it means to say that they develop. These issues have been the focus of an ongoing debate between differential (Izard, 1994; Izard & Malatesta, 1987), cognitive (Frijda, 1993; Lazarus, 1991; Lewis & Brooks-Gunn, 1979; Ortony, Clore, & Collins, 1988; Sroufe, 1979, 1984), and functional approaches to emotion (Barrett, 1993; Campos, 1994; Fischer, Shaver, & Carnochan, 1990). We examine these issues from the perspective of the social process view of emotion (Fogel et al., 1992).
Article
Full-text available
Two propositions that have been treated as equivalent ("All behavior is communication” and “one cannot not communicate") are separated, on logical grounds, into two separate questions: “Is all nonverbal behavior communicative?” and “In an interactional setting, is there always some communicative behavior?” I suggest that both should be treated as hypotheses, not axioms, and outline empirical tests for both. The essay also specifies agreement and disagreement with other points in Motley's (1990) article.
Article
Full-text available
Touch has been described as both the most basic sensory process and the earliest and most elemental form of communication (Frank, 1957; Montagu, 1971). Unlike other forms of nonverbal communication (e.g., eye gaze, proxemics, paralanguage), a separate term does not exist for the sensory process (e.g., vision, hearing) and the communication process (e.g., gaze, speech). Rather, the same term, touch, generally is used to describe the sensory process, specific stimuli, and the communication mechanism. This chapter focuses on the communication properties of touch in general, and gender patterns in tactile communication, in particular.
Article
Full-text available
The effects of depressed mothers' touching on their infants' behavior were investigated during the still-face situation. 48 depressed and nondepressed mothers and their 3-month-old infants were randomly assigned to control and experimental conditions. 4 successive 90-sec periods were implemented: (A) normal play, (B) still-face-no-touch, (C) still-face-with-touch, and (A) normal play. Depressed and nondepressed mothers were instructed and shown how to provide touch for their infants during the still-face-with-touch period. Different affective and attentive responses of the infants of depressed versus the infants of nondepressed mothers were observed. Infants of depressed mothers showed more positive affect (smiles and vocalizations) and gazed more at their mothers' hands during the still-face-with-touch period than the infants of nondepressed mothers, who grimaced, cried, and gazed away from their mothers' faces more often. The results suggest that by providing touch stimulation for their infants, the depressed mothers can increase infant positive affect and attention and, in this way, compensate for negative effects often resulting from their typical lack of affectivity (flat facial and vocal expressions) during interactions
Book
With an accessible, easy-to-understand writing style, the fifth edition of COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY will give you the tools you need to be successful in the course! This text covers cognitive neuroscience, attention and consciousness, perception, memory, knowledge representation, language, problem-solving and creativity, decision-making and reasoning, cognitive development, and intelligence. Common themes at the end of every chapter will help you spend more time studying important information and less time trying to figure out what you need to know. The author provides a "from lab to life" approach covering theory and lab and field research, as well as applications to everyday life.
Article
This article replies to Andersen's article. Both deal in part with the compatibility of the axiom that one cannot not communicate and certain common assumptions about communication. Both articles are concerned with identifying minimal necessary conditions for communication. Both discuss symbolic behavior, interaction, encoding, and fidelity. Motley and Andersen disagree on the meanings of these concepts, as well as on their role in establishing minimal necessary conditions for communication. Motley notes that both Andersen's perspective and popular versions of the axiom encourage equating communication with perception. He then demonstrates that common postulates contradict the notion that all perception is communication. The postulates suggest that there are situations in which only noncommunicative source behaviors occur, so one can indeed not communicate.
Article
Effects of contingent stroking were compared to effects of contingent tickling and poking on infant eye contact (attention) and affect during face-to-face interactions with an adult female. Twelve 2-to 4.5-mo-old infants participated in a within-subjects alternating-treatments design. Each subject received the two touch conditioning treatments in alternation within each of four consecutive sessions. In each session, three 2-min conditioning periods were implemented. Compared to tickling and poking treatment, during the systematic-stroking treatment all infants spent a greater proportion of time making eye contact with the experimenter, smiled and vocalized more and frowned and cried less.
Article
Infant preference for social stimulation that included touch during a face-to-face situation with an adult was investigated. Ten 1.5- to 3.5-month-old infants (M = 2.6, SD = .6) participated in a within-subjects repeated-measures design. Two treatment conditions were compared in an alternated, counterbalanced order with each infant. Under the touch treatment, the infant eye-contact responses were followed by continuous contingent adult smiling, cooing, and rubbing of the legs and feet. Under the no-touch treatment, the infant eye-contact responses were followed by contingent adult smiling and cooing, but not by touching. The results showed that, during the touch condition, infants emitted more eye contact and more smiles and vocalizations, and they spent less time crying and protesting compared with the no-touch condition. The results demonstrated that a social stimulus compound that included touching the infants functioned as a more effective reinforcer for infant eye-contact behavior than a stimulus compound that did not include touch.
Article
Ethological attachment theory is a landmark of 20th century social and behavioral sciences theory and research. This new paradigm for understanding primary relationships across the lifespan evolved from John Bowlby's critique of psychoanalytic drive theory and his own clinical observations, supplemented by his knowledge of fields as diverse as primate ethology, control systems theory, and cognitive psychology. By the time he had written the first volume of his classic Attachment and Loss trilogy, Mary D. Salter Ainsworth's naturalistic observations in Uganda and Baltimore, and her theoretical and descriptive insights about maternal care and the secure base phenomenon had become integral to attachment theory. Patterns of Attachment reports the methods and key results of Ainsworth's landmark Baltimore Longitudinal Study. Following upon her naturalistic home observations in Uganda, the Baltimore project yielded a wealth of enduring, benchmark results on the nature of the child's tie to its primary caregiver and the importance of early experience. It also addressed a wide range of conceptual and methodological issues common to many developmental and longitudinal projects, especially issues of age appropriate assessment, quantifying behavior, and comprehending individual differences. In addition, Ainsworth and her students broke new ground, clarifying and defining new concepts, demonstrating the value of the ethological methods and insights about behavior. Today, as we enter the fourth generation of attachment study, we have a rich and growing catalogue of behavioral and narrative approaches to measuring attachment from infancy to adulthood. Each of them has roots in the Strange Situation and the secure base concept presented in Patterns of Attachment. It inclusion in the Psychology Press Classic Editions series reflects Patterns of Attachment's continuing significance and insures its availability to new generations of students, researchers, and clinicians.
Article
Despite the popularity of the Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson (1967) axiom that one cannot not communicate, the position warrants reexamination in light of other popular claims about the nature of communication. This paper reviews four traditional communication postulates‐namely, that communication is interactive, involves encoding, involves the exchange of symbols, and has a fidelity dimension‐and finds each to be a contradiction of the popular axiom. The contradictions force a rejection of the axiom or a rejection of the postulates. Neither decision need affect the kinds of human behavior studied as relevant to communication, but the decision does affect general conceptualizations and specific claims about communication.
Article
In a recent article, Motley (1990) challenges the popular axiom that one cannot not communicate by advancing five postulates from a sender perspective. From this perspective, communication is intentional, is interactive, is encoded, requires symbols, and has a fidelity dimension. After detailing nine possible types of communication, the present article offers a receiver perspective, concluding that scholars should be interested in at least six types of communication. The receiver perspective holds that communication can be unintentional, noninteractive, and symptomatic, spontaneous, and nonsymbolic, and without a fidelity requirement. Implications of these perspectives for the study of communication are provided.
Article
Behavior-state matching and synchrony in interactions were assessed in 48 depressed and nondepressed mother–infant dyads when the infants were 3 months old. Attentive/affective behavior states were coded for the infants and mothers on a negative to positive scale. The depressed mothers and their infants matched negative behavior states more often and positive behavior states less often than did the nondepressed dyads. The total percentage of time spent in matching behavior states was less for the depressed than for the nondepressed dyads. Cross-spectral analyses of the mothers' and the infants' behavior-state time series suggested only a trend for greater coherence or synchrony in the interactions of the nondepressed dyads. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
"The World of the Newborn" explains many mysteries. Why an infant sleeps so much, and why more during the day than during the night, is understandable when sleep is found to serve as "off" switch when the baby is overwhelmed by sensations too intense or too numerous. . . . Surprisingly, an infant has not learned to associate sucking with food, nor does he feel hunger or fullness. There is also truth to the claim that very young children learn foreign languages easily; they can still hear distinctions that we learn to tune out. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Concludes with a discussion among S. J. Weiss, T. B. Brazelton, W. Greenough, and S. Levine. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
humans . . . can identify objects by one perceptual system even though their previous experience of those objects has been limited to one of the others / cross-modal transfer recent studies of cross-modal transfer in infants / focus first on how the studies illuminate the different points of view on the relationship between perceptual systems and then on some specific developmental issues what develops with age / how does coordination between systems develop / amodal properties: their role in development / is cross-modal perception different from intramodal perception / mechanisms underlying cross-modal abilities (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Replies to the comments by J. B. Bavelas (see record 1991-14900-001) and W. A. Beach (see record 1991-14901-001) concerning the original article by M. T. Motley (see record 1990-16716-001). The comments note an apparent inconsistency between the axiom that one cannot not communicate and the other common assumptions about communication. It is concluded that communication requires, at the very least, interaction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
This volume presents a variety of perspectives and research findings regarding the communication of emotion, broadly defined, during infancy and childhood, and the implications of those findings and perspectives for children's development and for cross-cultural comparison. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
parent-infant contact as the ultimate signal of security for the infant's attachment behavioral system: expectations and an observed anomaly parental aversion to physical contact with the infant: stable, and correlated with infant aggression and conflict / stability of aversion to contact over the first year of life / infant correlates of maternal aversion to physical contact: aggressiveness and conflict behavior / consequences of the rejection of bodily contact by attachment figures: some theoretical considerations the role of experience in the development of aversion to physical contact with an infant or caregiver: findings and suggestions from other studies / parental aversion to contact with the infant is related to the parent's own rejection during childhood / some studies suggesting pathways to intervention (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Three experiments investigated the effect of touch as a component of mother–infant interaction in the still-face (SF) paradigm and examined the impact of adult touching on infant affect and attention. In Exp 1, amount of maternal touch during the normal periods of the SF procedure was greater than 65% for 16 3-, 19 6-, and 15 9-mo-olds. In Exps 2 (cross-sectional) and 3 (longitudinal), involving 21 3–9 mo old children, Ss who received touch while their mothers were still-faced smiled more, grimaced less, and were more content relative to Ss receiving the standard SF, no-touch procedure. Adult touch reduced the SF effect by eliciting positive affect and directing attention toward the mothers' hands. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In order to test the hypothesis that reinforcements administered to a model influence the performance but not the acquisition of matching responses, groups of children observed an aggressive film-mediated model either rewarded, punished, or left without consequences. A postexposure test revealed that response consequences to the model had produced differential amounts of imitative behavior. Children in the model-punished condition performed signifcantly fewer matching responses than children in both the model-rewarded and the no-consequences groups. Children in all 3 treatment conditions were then offered attractive reinforcers contingent on their reproducing the model's aggressive responses. The introduction of positive incentives completely wiped out the previously observed performance differences, revealing an equivalent amount of learning among children in the model-rewarded, model-punished, and the no-consequences conditions. (18 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Book
• This work, a second edition of which has very kindly been requested, was followed by La Construction du réel chez l'enfant and was to have been completed by a study of the genesis of imitation in the child. The latter piece of research, whose publication we have postponed because it is so closely connected with the analysis of play and representational symbolism, appeared in 1945, inserted in a third work, La formation du symbole chez l'enfant. Together these three works form one entity dedicated to the beginnings of intelligence, that is to say, to the various manifestations of sensorimotor intelligence and to the most elementary forms of expression. The theses developed in this volume, which concern in particular the formation of the sensorimotor schemata and the mechanism of mental assimilation, have given rise to much discussion which pleases us and prompts us to thank both our opponents and our sympathizers for their kind interest in our work. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
3 studies were designed to investigate infant responses to tactile stimulation during brief adult-infant interaction using a modified still-face (SF) procedure. When adults pose a neutral SF expression, infants decrease gazing and smiling at the adults, and some increase grimacing, relative to normal interaction periods. This SF effect was substantially reduced in Study 1 when mothers or strangers continued to touch infants during the SF period. In Studies 2 and 3, tactile versus visual and active versus passive aspects of adult touch were isolated during different SF periods. Visible, active adult hands unaccompanied by touch elicited infant attention, but not smiling, during the SF period. By contrast, active, not passive, adult touch substantially reduced the SF effect, even when the adult's hands were invisible. In the latter condition, infants continued to gaze and smile at the adult's SF. Thus, adult facial expressions are not the only modulator of infant affect and attention during social exchanges; adult touch appears to play an active role.
Article
The purpose of this study was twofold: to determine (1) the degree to which specific qualities of maternal touch may contribute to the low birth weight infant's emotional and behavioural problems as well as social adaptation, and (2) the relationship between maternal touch and a mother's other caregiving behaviour. The sample included 114 socioculturally diverse infants and their mothers who were videotaped during an infant feeding when the baby was 3 months old. This videotape was analysed to assess dimensions of mother–infant interaction, including maternal touch. Data on perinatal risk and the mother's acceptance versus rejection of the infant were also acquired. Social adaptation and emotional/behavioural problems were measured when the child was 2 years of age.Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that maternal touch accounted for 15% of the variance in the likelihood of a child having emotional/behavioural problems at age 2. Children who received more nurturing touch had significantly fewer internalizing problems (such as depression) while children receiving both more frequent touch and harsh touch had more externalizing problems (such as aggressive behaviour). Infants who were less responsive to their caregivers were especially at risk of developing aggressive/destructive behaviour as a result of frequent touch. But less responsive infants also appeared to benefit most from greater use of diverse types of maternal touch, accounting for 6% of the variance in superior adaptive behaviour at age 2. Nurturing touch was the only quality that showed even a modest relationship to other caregiving behaviour, suggesting that touch may play a distinct role in the infant's psychosocial development. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
This study was designed to test the hypothesis that increased physical contact, experimentally induced, would promote greater maternal responsiveness and more secure attachment between infant and mother. Low-SES mothers of newborn infants were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n= 23) that received soft baby carriers (more physical contact) or to a control group (n= 26) that received infant seats (less contact). Using a transitional probability analysis of a play session at 31/2 months, it was demonstrated that mothers in the experimental group were more contingently responsive than control mothers to their infants' vocalizations. When the infants were 13 months old, the Ainsworth Strange Situation was administered. Significantly more experimental than control infants were securely attached to their mothers. We infer from these results that for low-income, inner-city mothers, there may be a causal relation between increased physical contact, achieved through early carrying in a soft baby carrier, and subsequent security of attachment between infant and mother.
Article
The study of emotion elicitation in the caregiver-infant dyad has focused almost exclusively on the facial and vocal channels, whereas little attention has been given to the contribution of the tactile channel. This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of touch on infants' emotions. During the time that objects were presented to the dyad, mothers provided tactile stimulation to their 12-month-old infants by either (a) tensing their fingers around the infants' abdomen while abruptly inhaling, (b) relaxing their grip around the infants' abdomen, or (c) not providing additional tactile stimulation (control condition). The results revealed that infants in the first condition (a) touched the objects less and waited longer to touch the objects while displaying more negative emotional displays compared to infants in the control condition. However, no apparent differences were found between infants in the second condition (b) and the control condition. The results suggest that infants' emotions may be elicited by specific parameters of touch.
Previously unexamined consequences of the ethological theory of attachment suggest that if an attachment figure rejects close body contact with an infant, the infant is placed in a conflict situation in which aggression, conflict behavior and avoidance are expected outcomes. In previous studies we have shown that a mother's rejection of contact with her infant is, as expected, highly associated with avoidance of the mother in stress (separation and reunion) situations. Here we report that a mother's aversion to tactual contact with the infant is stable over the first year of life, and that it is positively associated with rough handling of the infant. It is not associated with carly differences in infant cuddliness. In each of the three samples examined, the mother's aversion to contact with the infant is found positively associated with infant conflict behavior. A mother's aversion to contact between one week and three months of age is related positively to infant angry mood and acts of aggression between 9 and 12 months of age. The conflict situation created by the physically rejecting attachment figure is comparable to but distinguished from the well-known “double bind.”