ArticlePDF Available

Action and emotion in development of cultural intelligence: Why infants have feelings like ours


Abstract and Figures

This chapter introduces the argument that emotions are proactive in the human mind. It suggests that the evolution of the social functions of emotions and inter-subjective behaviours in infancy lead to cultural learning and language acquisition. Emotions associated with the three different orientations of the body to experiences - to the self, toward a communicative person, and to inspect a thing outside the body - suggest that the newborn infant's mind already has different intentional forms of consciousness appropriate for these different uses.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Trevarthen, C. (2005). Action and emotion in development of the human self,
its sociability and cultural intelligence: Why infants have feelings like ours.
In, J. Nadel and D. Muir (eds.) Emotional Development, pp. 61-91
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Colwyn Trevarthen
University of Edinburgh
Running Lead: Infants’ sympathy, emotions and cultural learning.
Key Words: Animal motives, prospective motor control, emotional regulation; 'sympathy neurons';
human motives; theory of social emotions; infant self-awareness, intersubjectivity, and
communication; expressive dynamics and 'musicality'; cultural learning and education.
Colwyn Trevarthen, PhD, FRSE
Professor (Emeritus) of Child Psychology and Psychobiology Department of Psychology The
University of Edinburgh
7 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ, Scotland, U. K.
E-mail: <c.trevarthen>
Home: 'Winton', High Street, Aberlady, East Lothian, EH32 ORA Tel: +44-1875-870 337
Chapter 3
Action and emotion in development
of cultural intelligence: why infants
have feelings like ours
Colwyn Trevarthen
Introduction: emotions are innate, and they
regulate agency and social sympathy
A valid psychology of emotions is concerned with motives
Emotions seem the least understood mind function, perhaps because they are part of the cause of
consciousness and remote from rational explanations that reflect experience. This paper assumes
that the activity of emotions is clear in infants, who search for experience with less reflection.
I believe that the prevailing 'models' of emotion lack real life validity because they fail to consider
how emotions are essentially part of the generation of motor activity, for which emotional
evaluations are essential (Schulkin et al., 2003; Frijda, 1986). They treat emotions as protective
reactions, not vital and optimistic causes of experience. This, I judge, is largely a consequence of
reductive assumptions about how behaviours are generated and guided, and the application of the
experimental method to test reactions of passive subjects, or to assess verbal reports of experience.
A more coherent account can be given if emotions are taken to start inside the mind, with
intentions to act in specific ways (Trevarthen, 1993a, b, 1997,2001a, b). Emotions are inseparable
from motives — processes of prospective or ' future-sensitive' vitality that move the body and that
regulate the acting Self as a coherent open dynamic system (Bertalanffy, 1968; Zei Pollermann,
2003). The communication of emotions between intending human Selves, which has driven the
development of more elaborate emotions characteristic of humans, depends on intersubjective
sympathy between individuals, a sympathy active in human brains that detects and identifies with
the prospective control of the movements that prepare for and implement others' intentions
(Blakemore and Decety, 2001; Decety and Chaminade, 2003).
At the end of his famous book on "The Expressions of Emotions in Man and Animals", Charles
Darwin (1872/1998) concluded that a mother's emotions guide the child by
assisting purposes toward good effects:
"They serve as the first means of communication between the mother and her infant;
she smiles approval, and thus encourages her child on the right path, or frowns
I take this to mean Darwin thought that human emotions evolved to transmit and receive the 'good
sense' of an active and intelligent life in the community.
I find that cognitive neuroscience theories of emotion do not give sufficient attention to what
purposeful communal intelligence entails. A first step is to relate emotions and their sympathetic
communication to the production and regulation of movements - that is, to the motives that
coordinate movements. Then we have to explain how motives may be communicated.
How persons communicate the values of motives to make common sense.
A biological account that links emotions to the prospective control of motor activity must address
the intrinsic rhythms and modulations of energy in body movement (Trevarthen, 1999). It will also
relate emotions to the autonomic regulations of energy and metabolism in body state (MacLean,
1990; Porges, 2003), and to the output of neural systems that formulate anticipations of experience,
in acting, in thinking, and in communication; neural systems that purposefully 'take up' information
for perception of expected goals.
Emotions are the expectant internal evaluators that anticipate the realisation of our projects,
experiences and relationships in society. They guide us into ways of consciously perceiving the
same 'common sense' world, and knowing how to live in it together. In contrast, our cognitions,
define goal objects 'after the fact'. They retain models and maps of reality based on what we have
experienced, and in that role are 'corrective' and 'retentive'. They cannot, alone, initiate what moves
us to be interested, nor can they balance internal state against what is expected to come from
outgoing action (Damasio, 1999; Freeman, 2000). In the social realm, it is not cognitions that
estimate in advance who are the persons we should trust.
The Emotional Life of Infants.
Observation of a contented and wakeful infant receiving the attentions of an affectionate parent
finds displays of emotion that can only function in engaging the other’s interest and in stimulating
future interpersonal communication. Why does a newborn baby orient expectantly to the face of a
person if not to discover and share expressions of such feelings of 'interest', 'anxiety' and 'joy' that
relate to their contact? Why are games and baby songs enjoyed so much by a 5-month-old, and with
such skilful anticipatory timing? What causes an infant to display rage or sad withdrawal in a
relationship that is not working as expected, and why does a contented infant’s mind sometimes
hide behind a silent mask of inwardness, apparently inventing thoughts? Such questions
lead us to consider the developmental advantages of emotions that guide the seeking of reflections,
memories and the trans-generational invention of ideas in sympathetic company, in what Peter
Hobson calls the 'cradle of thought' (Hobson, 2002).
Clinical research and the experience of psychotherapists prove how important are the affections of
early attachments, and especially those pleasurable states that support a loving protective
association between a mother and an infant (Stern, 1993,2000; Schore, 1994,2003). Sensitive
parental care is shown to be important for the fostering of a creative and resilient emotional life and
personality. Attachment Theory (Bowlby, 1958) attributes the behaviours of infant and caregiver to
innate biological capacities, and assumes that adaptive development of the infant's emotional
system 'expects' this human environmental support for physical and emotional well-being.
John Bowlby describes the sensitive mother as also supplying her child with a 'secure base' for
exploration. But discovery of meaning is not something the child wants to do on his or her own, by
going away from company. Meaning is made by emotions that may turn to and address others, to
share the fun of discovering and doing. Children’s emotions are adapted to draw ('educate') them
into the life of others, and thence into a
cultural community. They establish, evaluate and reinforce the companionships, by which the
knowledge and tasks of the community are built and learned in collaborative social activity
(Trevarthen, 2001a, 2004).
Intentions of animals: vital self-regulation in the
active pursuit of experience
Emotions as manners of moving, and of responding
to movements.
The biology of animal action focuses on how prospective motor images, or the impulses of agency
and embodied commitment, are generated and regulated by an animal’s brain in fluid continuity,
rather than on how environmental information is processed and stored, chunk-by-chunk or bit-by-
bit. It views the primary function of the mind as the production of action (Sperry, 1952).
Consciousness, as Donald (2001) has pointed out, is not made up of momentary cognitive responses
to unitary forms or events. It has purposeful executive coherence. It seeks discovery in motivated
sequences of action (Lashley, 1951).
Emotions are part of this animal vitality - of actions to maintain bodily well-being and of conscious
agency in experiencing the world, including the social world of other agents (MacLean, 1990).
Expressive movements manifest how healthy, strong and alert animal bodies are, what events are
moving them, and how movements are being planned to achieve particular ends. Emotions evaluate
the experience of an integrated conscious subject finding things: navigating through places for
exploration and adventure, choosing objects to use them, noting which may offer benefit or bring
danger (Panksepp, 1998b, 2000b; Porges, 2003). Actions and emotions determine what the subject
will remember and what will be ignored or forgotten (Tulving, 2002; Trevarthen, 2003b).
When an animal moves, a 'coherent dynamic, body-related self-state' must be adjusted to present
and future conditions in such a way that the energy to be expended or assimilated is accounted for
(Panksepp, 1998a; Damasio, 1999). .Every animal displays emotion in the way it moves - its power,
rate, and reactions to sensed consequences. Emotions describe the coherence or organisation of the
motor images or plans, and how their energy economy is regulated (Scherer, 1986; Zei Pollermann,
2003). The ‘manner’ of coordination and regulation of movement and of its physiological cost is
emotion, and social communication depends on detection of emotions in movement. There is an
evolutionary progression to more effective ways of collaborating socially by movements that
regulate approaches and contacts between individuals (Porges, 2003).
Play communicates motives of discovery,
contest, joy and affiliation.
Many animals play, apparently ‘wasting’ energy (Bekoff and Byers, 1998). Juvenile birds and
mammals of species that grow up in complex societies where adaptive skills develop slowly, play
long and hard. They move expressively, with stereotyped motor posturing or exaggerated kinds of
locomoting, with movements of ‘sensory accessory motor organs’ (ears, face and jaws), or of other
body appendages, such as tails, that show quick shifts of interest and pleasure, and by vocal calls
that signal vigorous delight or mock startle, aggression and flight (Scherer, 1986). Play regulates the
seeking of peaceful or intimate and affectionate collaboration with social partners, fighting others
for advantage, avoiding threats and attack, chasing prey, fleeing predators, freezing movement to
escape detection or steady attention. Meta-communicative emotional signals also regulate
antagonistic encounters between rival individuals or groups, as they do the interspecies attack and
flight behaviours of many kinds of predator and prey. They enable sharing of feelings about the
environment and what it offers (Marier, et al., 1992; Merker, 2000).
Playful affectionate and aesthetic feelings of humans appear to have evolved by elaboration of both
‘experience seeking’ and ‘attachment regulating’ motives and emotions of sub-cultural but highly
sociable species (Dissanayake, 2000; Panksepp, 2000b; Panksepp and Burgdorf, 2003; Panksepp,
this volume).
The intrinsic timing of animal movement and of emotions.
As the animal body moves with agency and prospective control, every act is motivated with
intrinsic rhythm and intensity in the ‘vitality’ (Stern, 1993,1999) or 'sentie forms' (Clynes, 1980) of
emotions. To comprehend this control we need a theory of 'time in the mind' (Poppel, 1994; Poppel
and Wittmann, 1999). The timing of animal actions is intrinsic - it depends on the rate and intensity
of physical and chemical processes passing through the neural assemblies of the brain.
I believe it makes sense to classify emotions initially in terms of the time course of the intended
action that they serve (Poppel and Wittmann, 1999; Trevarthen, 1999).
This conclusion accords well with phenomenological conceptions of mental processes (Husserl,
1964; Merleau Ponty, 1962; Michotte, 1962), and with the theory of open selfregulating dynamic
systems (Bertalanffy, 1968). Movements are formulated in the following broad time bands:
The fastest changes of emotion, and momentary shifts of thought, correspond with units in
skeleto-muscular action and orientations of special-sense awareness measuring a few hundred
milliseconds - possibly guided by senses, but faster than conscious monitoring.
Emotions that communicate distinct states of interest and purpose in body movements, showing
differing qualities of pleasure, anxiety, etc., apply their evaluations in the period of the
continuously monitored conscious and intentional time, the ‘psychological present’. over 2-6
‘Narrative’ cycles of emotional fluctuation, driven more ‘viscerally’ by spontaneous cycles of
autonomic arousal, and expectations of vitality and fatigue lead to an experience of a new
adventure that starts, then gains in confidence and vigour, reaches a climax, and relaxes back to
a relative quiet. Narrative cycles last 30 seconds to a minute or two.
With experience and knowledge, this third 'emotional narrative' range sets the time for 'executive
planning' of complex sequences and variations of movement, and for 'problem solving' in thought
Executive planning acquires greatly extended scope in memory (Tulving, 2002; Trevarthen, 2003b).
Long-term recollections require categorisation of experiences and are aided in their retention, as in
their communication, by symbolic representations, and symbols draw their power of reference and
function most meaningfully in stories (Turner, 1996). These are principles that apply in some
degree, at least at a presymbolic level, to all active and intelligent creatures, not just to humans, but
humans can give a verbal account of them, perform them as drama or music, and write them as texts
or musical scores.
The approach that identifies regularities and hierarchies in the temporal change of affective states
of animals, from 'instant' emotional reactions to lasting 'moods' and 'roles' or 'characters' is strongly
supported by analysis of patterns of communication in sound. Animal vocalisations engage
individuals in collaborative action and awareness, linking their self-regulatory states (Scherer, 1986;
Zei Pollermann, 2003). Communication of emotions by sound production to serve the needs of a
social community has led to the evolution of human emotive musicality (Merker, 2000; Krumhansl,
2000; Panksepp and Bernatzky, 2002).
Emotional autonomies: maintaining the energy economy of animal movement inside the
Brains carry anatomical ‘somatotopic’ maps of the whole configuration of the body, separately
laying out neural systems for the sensory surface and special receptors, for
the muscles and skeletal frame, and for the internal organs (Trevarthen, 1985). A common chemical
code of ‘neurospcificity determines the equivalence and coherent functioning of the different parts
in the embryo when the nerve circuits are first laid down (Sperry, 1963). Moving the body by
coordinated muscle action requires an anticipatory spatio- temporal configuration of neural activity
or ‘motor image’ (Jeannerod, 1994). Motor images in the CNS are accompanied or preceded by
autonomic activity — changes in heart activity and respiration, for example. An animal moves with
different levels of excitement or ‘arousal’, within a changing estimation of the physiological cost or
benefit of moving. This leads to a fundamental operational distinction between energy expending
and energy conserving actions (Figure 3.1).
Adventurous actions explore and discover; they seek information or take hold of objects and use
them. They may make advances to enter into the action and awareness of other subjects. All cost
metabolic energy, the amount depending on the power and duration of activity, on what mass of
muscles is active and for how long. Hess (1954) called these ergotropic activities.
Other actions, which Hess labelled trophotropic. or nurture seeking, take advantage of comfortable
and 'healthy' situations - warmth, sleep, fresh air to breathe, pure food and water. These correspond,
respectively, to the contrasting regulatory activities of the sympathetic and parasympathetic
components of the autonomic nervous system (Berntson, et al., 2003). Trophotropic actions also
desire intimate affectionate contact with other individuals to gain energy and restore vital functions
with their aid (Schore, 2003).
Fig 3.1 A map of the 'Field of Emotions', representing how the active agency of the
subject is balanced against self-protecting and restorative states, and how individual
subjective behaviours are transformed into collaborative agency by sympathetic motives
of intersubjectivity.
The prospective estimation and control of that energy cost (the ‘ergic/trophic’ equilibrium) is
expressed as emotions, and this is one dimension on which emotions may be plotted. The other
dimension of emotions regulates the balance between ‘subjective’ or self-related action toward
objects in the world taken as non-animate, and ‘intersubjective’ communication with other sentient
animate beings. The collective action of animals in societies requires expression in both dimensions
(Figure 1), and this requirement has driven the evolution of emotions into the intricate aesthetic and
moral forms that humans experience and show from early childhood. We experience cycles of
energy in moving and the emotive qualities of movement when we hear music (Trevarthen, 1999).
The emotional brain and its tools for communication
The neural regulation of reciprocal sympathy in actions.
Motor images' in the brain may be inferred, on the outside, from biomechanical analysis of the
forces in movements (Bernstein, 1967). Outbursts of neuronal activity that precede movement and
perception, inside the brain, may be detected by electrophysiological recording, or neuro-imaging.
The form and dynamics of 'motives' (Trevarthen, 1997), 'motor images' (Jeannerod, 1994), or
psychomotor 'tau' functions (Lee, 1998) can also be ’read' by another voluntary agent directly, by
sympathetic neural response to messages conveyed in movements. Human observers, including
infants, detect the effort or rhythmic grace of another person moving, sensing their comfort or pain,
and any sensory modality may serve this detection (Trevarthen, 1986a).
When animals interact socially, their emotions are picked up and elaborated or 'negotiated' in the
inter-subjective space between them (Aitken and Trevarthen, 1997). Intersubjective volition
requires representations of other subjects as equivalent in their motives and emotions to the self,
and at the same time awareness that those others are separate from the self is preserved (Decety and
Somerville, 2003). The recently discovered 'mirror neurons' (Rizzolatti et al., 2001), better
conceived as 'sympathy neurons', have opened the way to a radical re-conception of the social brain
as an organ for sympathetic engagement between motives in physically separate moving bodies1.
Functional brain imaging is beginning to explore the neural anatomy of those emotions that enable
us to share the quality and vitality of consciousness that comes to life in our separate bodies as they
move and respond to one another. (Blakemore and Decety, 2001; Adolphs, 2003; Decety and
Chaminade, 2003).
Single brain structures, for example the amygdala or anterior cingulate, however important they
may be as nodal structures in larger circuits, cannot be expected to be dedicated to any one
emotional or social process (Rolls, 1999; Le Doux, 2000; Wicker et al., 2003), and how they
function in the communication of emotion requires consideration of the brainstem centres that
control motor expressions of emotion. Panksepp (1998 and this volume) reviews the evidence for
widespread mechanisms in the vertebrate brain that define the 'foundations of human and animal
The unique anatomy of human expression.
Humans have the most complex expressive motor structures in the highly communicative primate
group, and the limbic and cortico-bulbar systems of emotional expression in the brain are most
elaborate in humans (MacLean, 1990; Holstege, et al., 1996; Porges, 2003). Facial, vocal and
manual expressions show many features unique to humans. Only human eyes have white scleras
that, in a horizontally oval gap between lids equipped with conspicuous lashes, make displacements
of gaze clearly visible acts of communication (Kobayashi and Kohshima, 2001). The human face
carries new muscles that move the cheeks and mouth to signal changes in pleasure or displeasure
and disgust, acceptance or rejection, curiosity and wonder, determination and animation or
depression, as well as for mediating emotional modulation of vocal sounds.
The human breathing and vocal apparatus is transformed with the evolution of upright standing and
bipedal walking, giving rise to a capacity for driving a sustained flow of air through the vocal cords
at controlled pressure by movements of the stomach, diaphragm and chest, as in speech and song.
Adjustments of larynx, jaws and tongue manipulate the resonance of the sound carrying system in
intricate patterns with infinite productivity, and this has changed the human mind (Lieberman,
1991). The vocal cords mediate an exceptional range of pitch variation, as well as contributing to an
impressive modulation of power and spectral quality in the sound (Scherer, 1986). This is the
source of the moving narratives of emotion carried in the rhythmic phrases of music (Krumhansl,
Lastly, human hands can express every sort of motivation, thought and feeling: giving touch
comfort and security to the self or an other; signalling direction and precise aim of interest,
acceptance or rejection of experience, the confidence and energy of intentions, aggressive or
defensive impulses, and the hesitant or confident planning of sequences of actions that combine
intentions and select different goals (Trevarthen, 1986b; McNeill, 1992; Goldin-Meadow and
McNeill, 1999). Human hand movements also convey learned conventions of affection, greeting,
defiance, appeasement and denial. They make permanent messages in writing and create pictures
and symbolic representations of objects or ideas.
Conversation uses all expressive movements, as well as posturing of the whole body, to convey
intentions and cognitions (Trevarthen, 2003a). In the deaf, hand gestures may take over the
functions of language (Goldin-Meadow and McNeill, 1999). All expressions are active in infants,
coordinated in the cyclic displays of intentions, communicative impulses and emotions (Trevarthen,
1990). Their equivalence in the unschooled expression of motives proves expressions are animated
by a core brain mechanism that modulates actions of the whole body.
Growth of the human emotional brain.
Developments in the meso-limbic cortices of the temporal and frontal lobes in infants and toddlers
expand functions of autonomic self-regulation, emotions in communication,
and motives for action (Schore, 1994; Trevarthen, 2001b; Trevarthen and Aitken, 2003). The
neocortical circuits mature in reciprocal, dynamic involvement with the prenatally formed Intrinsic
Motive Formation (IMF), which integrates elaborate subcortical systems with the limbic cortext
(Trevarthen and Aitken, 1994). The basic innate affective neurosystem of the brainstem is
elaborated, not superseded.
An emotional attachment to the mother's voice forms in utero, before a baby’s visual awareness
undergoes rapid development after birth. The brain of the two-month old maps out a both coherent
self and sympathetic equivalence of motive states with others. Cortical face-representing parts
resonate with the experience of the face of another, and, remarkably, prospective regions for facial
articulation of speech and for auditory monitoring of the speech of self or other are already defined,
two years before language (Tzourio-Mazoyer, et al., 2002). Conversation with language grows
within this innate formation of functional neural systems of intersubjectivity (Trevarthen, 2003a).
A mother's compassionate, unthinking engagement with her infant affects the physiology of the
baby and becomes a vital factor assisting the auto-regulation of the rapidly developing infant brain
(Schore, 2003). Left-right asymmetries in the infants' hand gestures and face expressions prove that
the emotional systems of the two sides of the brain are organised in complementary ways to
regulate intimate human engagement when the circuits of the cerebral cortex are rudimentary
(Trevarthen, 1986b, 2001b). Receptive emotional functions controlling the interpersonal context for
exchange of messages, as well as self-nurturant trophotropic states protective of the body that may
be more noradrenergic or seratonergic, are stronger in the right brain, which matures first (Davidson
and Fox, 1982; Schore, 1994,2003; Tucker et al., 2000). More active, outgoing ergotropic
orientation to the environment, which is dopaminergic, is stronger in the later developing left brain.
Young mammals receive essential protection from stress and distress from affectionate parental
care (Hofer, 1990; Schore, 1994; Carter, et al., 1997). If nurturing parental attention is not
forthcoming, a defensive withdrawal may protect the organism from irreparable harm (Porges,
2003), but only for a time. In the end an affectionate attachment relationship is essential for
survival. Human infants are born highly dependent on sympathetic parental responses. Identifying
features of the mother are picked up quickly after birth and other individuals who offer care and
sympathetic company are also soon recognised. Their love is required not only for the physiological
support and protection of the baby, but also for the normal maturation of motives for exploration
and learning, and self-confident negotiation of contacts with the physical and social worlds (Stern,
2000; Porges, 2003; Schore, 2003).
Infants’ sympathetic emotions seek to share meaning
by negotiating interests and affections
Darwin (1872/1998) did not limit his classification of emotions to a short list of discrete ‘basic’
responses (fear, anger, surprise, sadness, joy, disgust and perhaps
contempt). He included intersubjective or moral qualities of motivation, such as ‘love’,
‘tenderness’, ‘sulkiness’, ‘hatred’, ‘contempt’, ‘guilt’, ‘pride’, ‘shame’ among those he attributed to
the behaviours of animals and children that he called emotional expressions. His other terms denote
different states of the subject's bodily feeling or reaction to objects (‘suffering’, ‘anxiety’, ‘grief’,
‘despair’, ‘joy’, ‘anger’, ‘fear’, ‘disgust’), or states of experiencing and thinking (‘meditation’,
‘determination’, ‘patience’, ‘surprise’).
Modern naturalistic research uses frame-by-frame microanalysis of films and videos and high
fidelity sound recordings to describe dynamic expressions of emotion in infants: when they are
communication and playing games or performing cooperative tasks with their mothers; when they
are confronted with a stranger; when they are exploring the immediate environment; and when they
are seeking, following, reaching for and manipulating or mouthing objects. An object's potential
usefulness or significance must be defined by certain criteria of 'naïve physics' relating to the
properties of things and their motions (Spelke, 1998), and these criteria will depend on the infant's
innate motives for moving (von Hofsten, 2001).
The emotions associated with infants' investigative motives open the way for communication
and collaboration Records of the emotional interactions between an infant and other persons
when the infant is attending to an object show that objects are often ‘animated’ by the adult, to
interest, amuse or tease the baby. The emotions they share arise from the infant subject’s
interest, in objects or events, and in the affections, between the infant and the person who
accepts to play. Rich description of the actions and interactions in infant-adult engagements has
gained us insight into the contribution made by the intelligence and feelings of the infant to the
development of instructive relationships with 'older and wiser' persons (Trevarthen and Aitken,
'Periods of rapid change' and 'difficult transitions' in the
development of human emotions before language.
Before 3 years of age, when most children have mastered language, there are periods when the
body and behaviour of the child transform, bringing in new interests, activities and thinking,
changing the ways communication is used (Fig 3..2). At least six important transformations in
behaviour and the emergence of new ways of learning are recognised in the first 2 years (Heimann
and Plooij, 2003). These have immediate effects on communication with the caregiver, and on
cognitive growth. They elaborate the inherent sociability of emotions and extend their range.
Emotional adjustments affecting relationships precede each new phase of development (Plooij,
2003; Trevarthen and Aitken, 2003) and these correlate with changes in the immune system and
susceptibility of a baby to illness (Plooij, et al., 2003).
The newborn in maternal protection
The neonate has special sensory readiness to detect and recognise the mother’s affectionate
presence and the support, comfort and nourishment she provides. Increased
mass and inertia of the body in air, and a new freedom to move the limbs away from the body,
require new muscle strength and new proprio-senses. Developments of eyes and visual brain
facilitate adaptation to the environment of light. Facial, vocal and manual expressions signal
changing interest, pleasure or displeasure, and others' expressions can be imitated. The need for
sleep reduces, increasing the infant’s capacity to seek experience of things outside the body.
First conversations
After the first month, the baby is often awake for hours at a time, and can orient to, track, or focus
on attractive events. Developments between 4 and 6 weeks also transform the link between an
affectionate mother’s searching for communication and the baby’s interest in emotional exchanges
'just for fun'. This is when the protoconversations of primary intersubjectivity begin.
Exploring surroundings and playing games
At four months, motor control more versatile. The baby looks, reaches and manipulates more
effectively, and often turns attention away from the mother when she seeks to ‘chat’, to explore a
wider space of experience and to manipulate objects. In response, the mother becomes more
animated, assertive and challenging in her efforts to attract communication - more playful. She
attracts her infant in person-person games: rhythmic body play, chanting and by singing baby songs
(Trevarthen and Hubley, 1978; Trevarthen, 1999). Teasing and joking routines grow with the
infant's sense of humour (Sroufe and Waters, 1976; Reddy, 2003). The baby is also attracted to the
image of his or her face in a mirror - a peculiar sort of 'playless' company that is studied
thoughtfully, or used to experiment with expressions and mannerisms.
Expressions of amusement seem to appreciate that 'mocking' the image of the self can make a 'joke'
(Reddy, 2003).
Self-awareness and manipulating objects
By 7 or 8 months the baby is intently exploring objects with hands and mouth, and, as person-
person-object games flourish, the social life of the family is enriched by the baby’s delight in
‘showing off’ for company, or for the mirror (Reddy, 2003; Trevarthen and Hubley, 1978;
Trevarthen, 1990). This is the time a baby may become seriously unhappy if approached by a
stranger, indicating how important are the special relationships that have developed in play with
family and other well-known ‘friends’ (Sroufe, 1977; Trevarthen, 1986b, 1990,2002). The baby
may exhibit clever sociability with same age companions, needing no adult help to solicit contact
and communicate (Selby and Bradley, 2003).
Cooperative understanding.
A major change at 9 to 10 months marks the transition from the period of games to secondary
intersubjectivity, or cooperative 'person person object awareness' (Trevarthen and Hubley, 1978).
Now the baby is eager to imitate conventional gestures, ways of acting and ways of using objects
(Trevarthen and Aitken, 2003). Memory for the meaning of things is strong and cultural learning of
‘acts of meaning’, expressed in ‘protolanguage’, begins (Halliday, 1975). There are few words, but
the one-year-olds readiness for learning how to communicating by speech and gesture is clearly
evident (Bruner, 1983; Tomasello, 1988; Trevarthen, 1990,1994,2003a, 2004).
Imaginative play with meanings and roles.
In the second year, developments lead the baby from infancy to language and a period of rich
mimetic imagination and fantasy play with family and peers (Nadel and Pezé, 1993; Nadel, Guérini,
et al., 1999). A time of awkward dependency, comparable with the anxious time around 7 months,
has been found in the second half of the second year (Kagan, 1982), and this appears linked to the
start of rapid word learning and the beginning of new developments in the left hemisphere of the
brain (Trevarthen, 2003a).
At each age-related change, intrinsic regulations of ergotropic and trophotropic motives in the brain
release advances in awareness, learning and motor skill (Trevarthen and Aitken, 2003).
Companions of the baby are lead by their sympathetic appreciation of what moves the child, and
what feelings are expressed, to change their behaviour. The child is grows and learns within a
responsive intersubjective environment (Papousek and Papousek, 1987; Fogel, 1993; Stern,
1993,2000; Pantoia, et al., 2001). The effects of weakness or discontinuity in this support prove the
importance of shared dynamic emotions for the advances in the child's abilities and understanding,
and for the growth of a self-confident and confiding personality (Murray and Cooper, 1997; Gratier,
1999; Robb, 1999; Schore, 2003).
Fig. 3.3 Newborn infants. (A) A boy in India, 20 minutes old, tracks a red ball moved by
a nurse. (B) Shamini at about 30 minutes after birth: her mother greets her with a smile,
then she imitates 'tongue protrusion1 and 'mouth opening'. (C) Tests of a newborn baby's
initiative in imitation. The band rou nd the infant's chest records heart rate. He imitates
when Emese Nagy (whose face is seen in a mirror) holds up two fingers. Heart rate
recordings show he does so intentionally, and with interest in getting a response for his
effort (Nagy and Molnar, 2003). (Photos A and B by Kevin Bundell)
Learning how to communicate and who to
communicate with.
Emotions associated with the three different orientations of the body to experiences — to the self,
toward a communicative person, and to inspect a thing outside the body — suggest that the
newborn infant’s mind already has different intentional forms of consciousness appropriate for
these different uses (Trevarthen, 1993), see Fig. 3.9.
The abilities of newborns to imitate many forms of expressive movement (Figure 3) prove
they are ready to engage with other persons' motives and interact in communication
(Kugiumutzakis, 1998). At the time of imitating, or just before, the infant's heart accelerates
significantly, indicating active intention. When the infant is acting to invite or 'provoke' the
adult to imitate, there is an anticipatory heart rate deceleration, indicating a receptive focussing
of attention. A newborn baby seeks communication with intentional preparation of
complementary conscious states — imitating is intentional, and provocating is attentive (Nagy
and Molnâr, 2003).
Any adult who enters into intimate sympathetic relationship with a newborn infant has to depend
first on emotional responses and behaviours that are unconsciously controlled and cannot be
learned. The similarities that appear in the intonation, timing, pitch and rhythms of vocalizations to
very young babies in different cultures are evidence both for the universal needs of the newborn,
and for intuitive parenting motivation to meet these needs (Papousek and Papousek, 1987; Fernald,
1992). The emotional 'codes' in infant and adult and their affective expressions fit one another as
sympathetic complements.
Extensive analyses of the protoconversations with two-month-olds (Figure 4) has proved that
humans are born with a dual representation of self and other that permits them to enter into
immediate relation with one another's emotions in 'dialogic closure' (Brâten, 1988,1992). The
rudiments of such a capacity may be evident immediately after birth, even in a 2-month-premature
infant (Trevarthen, 1993; Malloch, 1999). Voices of parents talking to young infants in different
languages have regular rhythms and patterns of prosody or musical form and quality. The infant is
attending to and giving responses to the ‘attuned’ affectivity of the adult who is strongly moved by
affectionate concern for the infant. The infant is perceived as a person who is expressing interests
and feelings, ‘thinking’ and wanting to ‘talk’ about thoughts (Fig. 3.4).
Feelings of contact, and of loss of contact
The emotions in protoconversations have been tested by introducing interruptions and delays to
well-patterned positive interactions, and watching how the infants respond (Tronick et al., 1978;
Murray and Trevarthen, 1985). The range of sympathetic expressions is illustrated by photographs
of images taken from a Double Television (DTV) intercommunication experiment where a mother
eventually gained her 8 week old daughter’s attention and joined in a lively ‘chat’ with her
(Trevarthen, 1993) (Figure 5). At first the infant was frightened by a loud, high-pitched sound in the
Fig. 3.4 Infants enjoying 'protoconversations1. (A) Laura, 3 months old, at home in Scotland is
attentive to her mother's talking. Her 3-year-old sister wants to join in, and father watches proudly
from the side. At 6 weeks, in the University of Edinburgh Laura smiles and coos at her mother,
whose reactions can be seen in a mirror. (Photos by Penelope and John Hubley and
ColwynTrevarthen) (B) Hande, 11 weeks old, is Turkish, photographed in Holland with her father.
She watches her father's face, smiles, moves hand, mouth and tongue with a serious face as if
talking, and looks away while she 'thinks'. (Photos from a video by Saskia van Rees of the "Body
Language Foundation",
loudspeaker carrying the mother’s voice, and her pout evoked an instantaneous horror expression
from the mother who said, “Oh! I do not want to see a pouty face.” They then made eye contact,
and this triggered a big smile from the mother and initiated a well-paced exchange. After one and a
half minutes the baby was happy. At this point, one minute of the mother’s most joyful chat was
replayed to the baby. This unresponsive and noncontingent behaviour made the infant puzzled, and,
within 30 seconds, caused her to withdraw and make gestures, vocalisations and face expressions of
‘Still Face’ and ‘DTV Replay’ tests prove that two-month-olds have expectancies for sensitive
reciprocal engagement of affectionate and expressive states, and a need to coordinate cycles of
interest and pleasure with the Other (Murray and Trevarthen, 1985; Nadel, Carchon, et al., 1999).
That the baby is expecting shared timing and a supportive
Fig 3.5 Photos from an experiment with communication between a mother and an 8-week-
old girl by Double Television. They coordinate their expressions sympathetically in 'live'
communication, but the infant shows distress when the contingency of the mother's behaviour
is lost in 'replay1. See text.
quality of response from the adult is proved by expressions of disappointment or frustration when
responses fail.
Vitality affects and narratives of adventure: 'communicative
musicality' and the mind time of emotions.
Play with infants 3 or 4 months old (Figure 6) has timing and expressive modulations that invite
description in terms used for the arts of music or dance (Stern, 1993,
Fig. 3.6 Infants gain new interests. Scottish subjects photographed in the University of
Edinburgh. (A) Leanne, at 4 months, is explores the room, and her mother asks, "What
do you see?" She tries to grasp a ping-pong ball on a thread, presented by her mother.
(B) Four-month-old Leanne enjoys a singing, hand-bouncing game with her mother,
and, 5 months waits for the surprise ending (a tickle under her arm) of the baby song,
"Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear", which she knows well. (C) Infants
over 6 months old enjoy chasing and handling objects, and parents offer games and
toys. Notice how 'expectant' their mouths are (Photos by Colwyn Trevarthen)
1999, 2000). Stern describes the ‘relational’ emotions that sustain this play as ‘vitality affects’, and
he emphasises the 'affect attunement' of the game. Beebe and colleagues have made statistical
analyses of the Coordinated Interpersonal Timing in mother-infant communication, applying
techniques of ‘conversational analysis ‘ to show the synchronisations, pauses and turn-taking of
natural interactions similar to those between adults. The dynamic quality of interaction between a
mother and a young baby can be predictive of the emotional attachment relationship between them
many months later (Jaffe, et al., 2001).
Musical acoustic techniques applied to protoconversations show how a mother speaking to her
infant produces musically organised utterances with a regular beat, phrasing and systematic
development of excitement in longer 'narrative' cycles, and the
infant may respond in a precisely coordinated manner (Malloch, 1999). Acoustic analysis also
shows how a depressed mother fails to give communication that has the rhythmic expressive
features of ‘musicality’ (Robb, 1999), and the method has been used to demonstrate effects on the
emotional presence of a mother who has had to emigrate from her home country to a foreign land,
and lost the feeling of ‘belonging’ (Gratier, 1999). A mother's loneliness, linked to a felling of loss
of support from her own mother, makes it difficult for her to respond sensitively and happily to her
baby’s efforts to communicate.
The theory of Communicative Musicality (Malloch, 1999) proposes that basic expressive forms and
preferences for particular patterns of expressive movement and vocal sound can be described by
analysis in terms of poetic, musical, gestural and dramatic expression. The compelling ways shared
creations in the temporal arts; of poetry, music, dance or theatre, are responded to emotionally and
remembered proves the relationship of motives for moving in rhythmic expressive ways to the
development of communal understanding by the ‘thinking’, story-telling mind (Turner, 1996;
Trevarthen, 1999; Dissanayake, 2000: Krumhansl, 2000).
Relational emotions, between persons, including pride, jealousy, shame, resentment, rage, and the
lasting evaluations and empathy of admiration, love, hate, contempt that we can develop in regard
to particular individuals — have their foundations in dynamic reactions of even young infants to the
feel of 'being present' with another (Stern, 1993, 2000; Brâten, 1998). They contribute to the
building of relationships of affectionate attachment, trust and companionship, and to defence
against abuse, mistrust and disregard, and they appear to be fundamental to human consciousness of
meaning (See Figures 7 and 8).
Sociability beyond parental care.
Research has focused on emotions in infant-adult dyads. Nevertheless, there is evidence that infants
can communicate with peers. Infants and toddlers join in constructive emotional exchanges in
groups (Nadel and Pezé, 1993; Nash and Hay, 2003; Selby and Bradley, 2003
Research by Fiamenghi (Fiamenghi, 1997; Trevarthen et al, 1999) demonstrated that pairs of
infants 5 to 9 months old, seated facing each other in pushchairs outside view of their mothers, use
reciprocal imitation of gestures, postures, facial expressions, vocalisations and feet movements to
establish contact and communicate. Fiamenghi used a mirror box containing a camera to
demonstrate that engagement with a self image has features indicating that the baby perceives that a
reflection cannot ‘play the game’. He found sex differences, boys 'showing off more to the mirror,
while girls showed a wider range of social expressions. Both boys and girls made self-exploring
movements while watching the mirror, indicating that they detect that the ‘other baby’ is actually
their own self.
Selby and Bradley (2003) sat trios of babies between 6 and 10 months of age on their own in their
pushchairs at equal distances from one another in a triangle. Complex
Fig 3.7 Emma, 6 months old, in Scotland, is proud to know "Clap-a-clap-a-handies", a
traditional baby song. She sits on her father's knee at home and responds gleefully when
her mother invites her to perform for the photographer In the University, she shows how
her mother taught her, and watches her reflection in the camera window as she mutates
She is too young to understand what her mother means when she asks her to put the
wooden doll in the truck (Photos by Penelope and John Hubley and Colwyn Trevarthen)
and subtle expressive behaviours and exchanges established mini dramas between the interactants,
demonstrating a far greater capacity for sociable encounters than has been expected for infants
under one year.
Discovering the values of objects and rituals shared:
first companionship in ‘art, knowledge and skills’.
After 4 months, infants explore their surroundings, turning head and eyes to look about and
reaching to handle objects with emotional investment of curiosity and pleasure in discovery (Fig.
3.6). These moves are signalled to companions in expressions of interest, surprise, wonder, and of
pleasure or fear and irritation. The infant is aware of the person they are turning away from to
pursue self-centred interests, and is
Fig. 3.8 Basilie, 12 months old, cooperates in a task and knows about useful objects.
She understands when her mother asks her to, "Put the doll in the truck", and looks
pleased as her mother congratulates her. On her mother's knee at the University, she
asked for The National Geographical magazine, recognising its yellow colour, takes
the book and starts 'reading it', looking at the pictures. At home with her mother, she
shares the post. (Photos by Penelope and John Hubley and Colwyn Trevarthen)
receptive to any 'presentation' of objects by others. The natural response of a playmate is to create
routines of dramatic play and to tease. Games with infants exercise sympathetic mirroring and
imitation of the motives of agency; i.e. of intentions, attentions and feelings. Infants at 6 months
show subtle transitions of interest and disinterest, determination and doubt, amusement and
irritation, surprise and confident recognition (Trevarthen, 1986b, 1990), and they begin to laugh
(Sroufe and Waters, 1976). They habituate quickly to dull repeating events, seeking new
experiences. They learn to value the reappearance of events that bring pleasures, or to fear and
withdraw from those that signal recurrence of unpleasant experience.
Their exploring and rapid habituation make infants beyond 4 months ideal subjects in laboratory
experiments on discriminative recognition, categorisation, 'intentional stance', and deferred
imitation. The infants are sensitive to dynamic parameters in artificial displays (Watson, 1972;
Gergely and Watson, 1999). They are detecting 'animacy’, and can predict the intentional aim of
persons' movements represented in dynamic visual displays (Legerstee, 1992). This kind of
‘intention sensitivity’, with selective response to mobiles that show ‘contingent re-activity’, leads
some researchers to deny infants ‘real’ awareness of other persons as separate subjects. I see it as
further evidence, albeit artificially obtained, for innate inter-subjectivity. In natural circumstances,
infant's investigative intelligence and sense of humour facilitate pleasurable communication with
real persons.
The early-developed signs of interest in human purposes recall the pioneering experiments of
Michotte (1962) who, using simple visual displays with dynamic properties, proved that subjects
have internal criteria for identifying vital, psychologically motivated
phenomena. In experiments to analyse how movies carry messages of human action in changing
patterns of light, Michotte charted the dimensions of change that evoke particular emotions, and
found critical values that all observers share. The parameters he identified correspond with the
‘sentie forms’ Manfred Clynes (1980) has found as carriers of emotion in music.
Infants are sensitive to the invariants in human action and expression discovered by Michotte and
by Clynes, and these sensibilities are exploited in psychologists' experiments as by parents in game
routines. Body action games and songs played with infants (Figures 6 and 7) employ narrative
sequences to capture the infant’s interest and generate shared amusement, and to modulate the
infant's excitement and enjoyment or to calm (Rock, et al., 1999; Trevarthen, 1999). Joking and
teasing, involving mutual interest and prediction, is a sure sign of a secure and loving relationship.
Fun in games is infectious and it makes friendships, as it does for young animals (Panksepp and
Burgdorf, 2003). Unsympathetic game play with an infant provokes distress and even violent
protest. Nakano (Nakano and Kanaya, 1993) has studied the subtle variations in ‘fun’ with infants
and identified a shared motivation for ‘tricky’ situations, which he calls ‘incident affinity’. This
essential foundation for negotiating complex intentions and cooperative awareness is motivated on
both sides, from the infant and from the parent.
Reflecting and thinking to oneself: taking ‘time off’ from
sociability to explore the flow of ideas in a recollected world.
Margaret Donaldson, in “Human Minds” (Donaldson, 1992), proposes that the development of
‘recall memory’ increases a child’s conscious imagining by steps. She describes the changes as a
journey through ‘point’, ‘line’, ‘elaborated’ and 'transcendent’ modes of awareness and
purposefulness. She offers the challenging proposal that there is a parallel development of
emotional intelligence through comparable stages. She points out that it is difficult to know if a
young baby can recall - he or she may be just acting with ‘recognition’ of immediately familiar
events or objects. But there are signs of imaginative reconstruction of past events in infants before a
year of age (e. g. Halliday, 1975), and this is essential preparation for 'telling' experiences and
judgements with others.
Introspective states of withdrawal from present activity into imagination and memory, which are
essential features of intelligent consciousness (Donald, 2001), do seem to occur in very young
infants (Figure 4). By three or four months a baby may be stubbornly drawn into ‘thinking’ states
that resist others' temptations to communicate (Figure 6). All parents who have sought to play with
a baby will recognise these withdrawals. I believe the ways inner and outer experience are managed
and shared are vital and necessary factors in the sharing of games. The social withdrawal may often
be a paradoxical communicative signal, a ploy to state a measure of independence, or even
defiance. The infant’s avoidances are often comical, and infants may smile as they avoid
contact. I would relate this to Vasu Reddy’s discoveries of smiling ‘coyness’ when a 3 month old is
held by their mother up to a mirror, and to her explorations of incidents in which infants apparently
act deliberately as show-offs or ‘clowns’ (Reddy, 2003).
Peter Hobson in “The Cradle of Thought” (Hobson, 2002) gives the sharing of reflective states,
which he illustrates with a painting of the virgin and child in meditative mood, a key role in the
nurturing of thinking. It allows the minds of companions to be together while wandering through
their separate recollected experience and purposes.
Development of a social identity, and ‘self-awareness’:
conscious predictive control of the evaluation of self by others.
The well-charted crisis of self-consciousness of the 7-month-old, who is bold and exuberant with
persons who are familiar and loved (Figure 7), but timid or fearful with a stranger (Sroufe, 1977),
relates to an important forthcoming development in the intersubjectivity of play that takes place
about 9 months after birth (Trevarthen and Hubley, 1978). Then infants become both able and
willing to attend to, and comment about, purposeful actions they or others direct toward
environmental goals (Figure 8). They start to comply with instructions, as well as imitating manners
of behaving (Meltzoff, 1995; Hobson, 2002). Their gestures and expressions carry evidence of self-
conscious mental states, such as 'showing off or 'acting a part' (Trevarthen, 1990; Reddy, 2003). For
the first time the baby systematically combines vocalisation and gestures of ‘protolanguage’ to
communicate wishes, feelings, purposes, or experiences to their partners (Halliday, 1975). This
bridge between attending and commenting, between interest and the pleasure of company, is crucial
for the child’s entry into the world of meanings and the words or other symbols that may ‘encode’
them (Trevarthen, 1994).
A state of sympathetic participation with others in social life by 'mutual attention' (Reddy, 2003) is
fundamental to any collaborative awareness and convergence of interests and purposes or ‘joint
attention’ between persons (Tomasello, 1988). The motives that initiate cultural learning in infants
are essentially intersubjective, in the sense that they require sympathy of feelings between the child
and companions, not just identification of the diexis or aim of consciousness to a selected object of
interest. And the child has shown awareness of the orientation and shifts in direction of interest of a
partner in communication many months before prompt ‘joint attention’ behaviours become
common around 9 months. What does change is the motives of the child for sharing the interest and
value of another persons’ exploratory or manipulative intelligence (Trevarthen,
1980,1987,1994,1998,2001a). It is an advance in person- person-object awareness founded on
intimate awareness of the other as a particular, trusted friend (Fig 3.9).
‘Complex basic emotions’ can be seen in the first year (Draghi-Lorenz, et al., 2001; Reddy, 2003).
Observations of spontaneous expressions of infants in familiar circumstances, or with strangers,
show that 'self-other awareness' is regulated in the first 6 months by explicit relational states of
'pride', 'shame', jealousy and 'mistrust' (Fig 3.7).
Fig 3.9 The cycle of interactions and communication that generates ‘common sense’.
An infant’s ‘self’ is engaged in controlled relations with the infant’s body (A), with
physical objects (B), and with other persons (C). These different realms of action and
awareness are coordinated by emotions of interest and pleasure, and combine in the
creation of meaning through sympathetic communication in companionship.
Expressions of delight, pleased satisfaction, surprise, irritation, or grief to displacements of gaze to
or away from other person’s eyes regulate the infant's communication with peers, in family triads
and with strangers. Self-consciousness and showing off with the mirror or with strangers, and with
peers, prove that young infants use complex emotions to regulate the dynamic balance of interest
and initiative with others. They help infants and their partners to share meanings that have been
invented together, and the infants mark their identity as 'knowers' (Trevarthen, 1990,2002).
Cultural learning: the develoment of thinking about things
with sense of other persons’ interests and feelings (Fig. 3.9)
An ability to acquire cultural skills and conventional or symbolic forms of acting shows itself in
rich displays of mimetic play when a toddler can speak very few, if any, words (Nadel, Guérini, et
al., 1999). It is at this stage that adventure creating and story-making
‘fantasy’ play takes off, soon to be given the added power that talking gives (Nelson, 1996). The
toddler is a generator of metaphorical ideas and an infectious playmate for invention of blended
Intersubjective awareness, conversational exchanges and narrative imagination (mimesis and
metaphor) have a unique complexity and efficacy in humans (Turner, 1996; Donald, 2001). Human
toddlers and older children observe, leam and re-enact social mannerisms, ethical principles and
cognitive interests, as well as investigative problemsolving behaviour. Before they walk, they
represent to themselves elaborate technical and artistic routines in imaginative play, referring to
objects goals that are remote in time and space, many of which the community has invested with
value and meaning over generations (Trevarthen and Logotheti, 1987). All these purposes are
assisted by self- other-conscious emotions (Reddy, 2003), and the enjoyment of intentionally
supportive teaching behaviours that more experienced partners offer the child (Bruner, 1996;
Rogoff, et al., 2003). They are enriched by language, which fixes words to the actions and objects
of cooperative understanding, and to the feelings and qualities of acting and experiencing. In the
first stages of language learning, imitation, immediate and deferred, plays a key role (Tomasello,
1999). Emotions of relating (of affection and mistrust, pride and shame) are crucial in the
negotiation of purposes and interests in symbolic activity and language (Trevarthen, 1994).
Adolphs, R. (2003). Investigating the cognitive neuroscience of social behavior. Neuropsychologia, 41, 119-
Aitken, K.J. and Trevarthen, C. (1997). Self-other organization in human psychological development.
Development and Psychopathology, 9. 651-75.
Averill, J. (1980). A constructivist view of emotion. In Emotion theory research and experience. (ed R.
Plutchik and H. Kellerman) Vol 1, pp. 305-40. Academic Press: New York.
Barnes, B. (2000). Understanding agency: social theory and responsible action. Beverley Hills and London:
Bekoff, M. and Byers, J. A. (1998). Animal play: evolutionary. comparative and ecological approaches.
New York: Cambridge University Press.
Berntson, G. G., Sarter, M. and Cacioppo, J. T. (2003). Autonomic nervous system. In Encyclopedia of
cognitive science. (Editor in Chief Lynn Nadel). Article 406, Vol. 1, pp. 301-8. Oxford: Nature
Publishing Group, Macmillan Publishers Ltd..
Bertalanffy, von L., (1968). General system theory. New York: George Brazilier.
Bierhoff, H.-W. (2002). Prosocial behaviour. Hove: Psychology Press/New York: Taylor and Francis.
Blakemore, S.-J. and Decety, J. (2001). From the perception of action to the understanding of intention.
Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2, 561-7.
Bowlby J. (1958). The nature of the child's tie to his mother. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 39, 1-
Brâten, S. (1998). Intersubjective communion and understanding: Development and perturbation. In S.
Brâten (Ed.), Intersubjective communication and emotion in early ontogeny, (pp. 372-82). Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Bruner, J. S. (1983). Child's talk. Learning to use language. New York: Norton.
Bruner, J.S. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Carter, C. S., Lederhendler, 1.1., and Kirkpatrick, B. (1997). The integrative neurobiology of affiliation.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 807.
Clynes, M. (1980). The communication of emotion: theory of sentics. In Emotion: theory. research and
experience, Vol. 1: Theories of Emotion. (ed R. Plutchik and H. Kellerman), New York: Academic
Damasio, A.R. (1999). The feeling of what happens: body. emotion and the making of consciousness.
London: Heinemann.
Darwin, C. (1872/1998). The expression of the emotions in man and animals, 3rd edn. New York:
Oxford University Press.
Decety, J. and Chaminade, T. (2003). Neural correlates of feeling sympathy. Neuropsychologia, 41, 127-38.
Dissanayake E. (2000). Art and intimacy: how the arts began. Seattle: University of Washington Press
Donald, M. (2001). A mind so rare: the evolution of human consciousness. New York,
NY: Norton
Donaldson, M. (1992). Human minds: an exploration. London: Allen Lane/Penguin Books.
Draghi-Lorenz, R., Reddy, V., and Costall, A. (2001). Rethinking the development of 'non-basic'
emotions: A critical review of existing theories. Developmental Review, 21(3), 263-304.
Ekman, P. and Davidson, R. J. (ed.) (1994). The nature of emotion. Fundamental questions. New
York: Oxford University Press.
Emde R. N., Biringen, Z., Clyman, R. B. and Oppenheim, D. (1991). The moral self in infancy:
Affective core and procedural knowledge. Developmental Review, 11, 251-70.
Fernald, A. (1992). Meaningful melodies in mothers' speech to infants. In Nonverbal vocal
communication: comparative and developmental aspects, (ed. H. Papousek, U. Jürgens, and M.
Papousek), pp. 262-82. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/Paris: Editions de la Maison
des Sciences de l'Homme.
Fiamenghi, G. A. (1997). Intersubjectivity and infant-infant interaction: Imitation as a way of making
contact. Annual Report. Research and Clinical Center for Child Development, 19, 15-21.
Fogel,A. (1993). Developing through relationships. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Freeman, W. J. (2000). Emotion is essential to all intentional behaviors. In Emotion, development, and self-
organisation: Dynamic systems approaches to emotional development, (ed M. Turner and I. Granic),
pp. 209-35. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Frijda,N.H. (1986). The emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gergely, G., and Watson, J. (1999). Early social development: contingency perception and the social bio-
feedback model. In Early social cognition: understanding others in the first months of life (ed. P.
Rochat), pp. 101-36. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Goldin-Meadow, S. and McNeill, D. (1999). The role of gesture and mimetic representation in making
language. In The descent of mind: psychological perspectives on hominid evolution, (ed. M. C.
Corballis and E. G. Lea), pp. 155-72). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gratier, M. (1999) Expressions of belonging: The effect of acculturation on the rhythm and harmony
of mother-infant vocal interaction. In Rhythms, musical narrative, and the origins of human
communication. Musicae Scientiae. Special Issue. 1999-2000, (ed. I. Deliège), pp. 93-122.
Liège: European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music.
Halliday, M. A. K. (1975). Learning how to mean: explorations in the development of language. London:
Edward Arnold..
Heimann, M. (ed.) (2003). Regression periods in human infancy. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Hess, W. R. (1954). Diencephalon: autonomic and extrapyramidal functions. Orlando, FL: Grune and
Hobson, P. (2002). The cradle of thought: exploring the origins of thinking. London: Macmillan.
Hofer, M. A. (1990). Early symbiotic processes: Hard evidence from a soft place. In Pleasure beyond
the pleasure principle, (ed. R. A. Glick and S. Bone), pp. 55-78. New Haven, CT: Yale
University Press.
Holstege, G., Bandler, R., and Saper, C. B. (ed.) (1996) The emotional motor system, Progress in
Brain Research Volume 107. Amsterdam: Elsevier
Husserl, E. (1964). Phenomenology of internal time-consciousness. (J. S. Churchill Trans.) Bloomington:
Indiana University Press. The Hague
Jaffe, J. Beebe, B., Felstein, S., Crown, C. and Jasnow, M. D. (2001). Rhythms of dialogue in infancy:
Coordinated timing and social development. Society of Child Development Monographs. Serial No.
265. Vol. 66(2). Oxford: Blackwell
Jeannerod,M. (1994). The representing brain: Neural correlates of motor intention and imagery.
Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 17, 187-245.
Kagan, J. (1982). The emergence of self. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 23. 363-381.
Kobayashi, H. and Kohshima, S. (2001). Evolution of the human eye as a device for communication.
In Primate origins of human cognition and behavior. (ed. T Matsuzawa) pp. 383-401. Tokyo:
Springer Verlag.
Krumhansl, C. L. (2000). Music and affect: Empirical and theoretical contributions from
experimental psychology. In Musicology and sister disciplines: past, present, future. (ed. D.
Greer), pp. 88-99. Oxford University Press,
Kugiumutzakis, G. (1998). Neonatal imitation in the intersubjective companion space. In Intersubjective
communication and emotion in early ontogeny, (ed. S. Brâten). pp. 63-88. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Lashley, K. S. (1951). The problems of serial order in behavior. In Cerebral mechanisms in behavior. (ed. L.
A. Jeffress), pp. 112-36. New York: Wiley.
Lazarus, R. S. (1991). Emotion and adaptation. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
LeDoux, J.E. (2000). Emotion circuits in the brain. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 23. 155-84.
Lee,D. N. (1998). Guiding movement by coupling taus. Ecological Psychology. 10(3- 4): 221-50.
Legerstee, M. (1992). A review of the animate-inanimate distinction in infancy: Implications for models of
social and cognitive knowing. Early Development and Parenting, 1.59-67.
Lewis, M. (1995). Self-conscious emotions. American Psychologist, 63, 68-78.
Lewis, M. D. and Granic, I. (2000). Introduction: A new approach to the study of emotional
development. In Emotion. development, and self-organization: dynamic systems approaches to
emotional development (ed. M. D. Lewis and I. Granik), pp. 1-12. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Lieberman, P. (1991). Uniquely human: the evolution of speech. thought and selfless behaviour.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
MacLean, P. (1990). The triune brain in evolution. New York: Plenum Press.
Malloch, S. (1999). Mother and infants and communicative musicality. In Rhythms. musical narrative, and
the origins of human communication. Musicae Scientiae. Special Issue. 1999-2000, (ed. I. Deliège),
pp. 29-57. Liège, Belgium: European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music.
Marler, P., Evans, C. S., and Hauser, M. C. (1992). Animal signals: motivational, referential or both? In
Nonverbal vocal communication: comparative and developmental aspects (ed. H. Papousek, U. Jjgens
and M. Papousek), pp. 66-86. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/ Paris: Editions de la Maison
des Sciences de l'Homme.
McNeill, D. (1992). Hand and mind: What gestures reveal about thought. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press
Meltzoff, A. N. (1995). Understanding the intentions of others: Re-enactment of intended acts by 18-
month-old children. Developmental Psychology. 31, 838-50.
Merker, B. (2000). Synchronous chorusing and human origins. In The origins of music (ed. N. L.
Wallin, B. Merker and S. Brown), pp. 315-28. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). Phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Michotte, A. (1962). Causalité. permanence et réalité phénoménales. Louvain: Publications
Murray, L., and Cooper, P. J. (ed.) (1997). Postpartum depression and child development. New York:
Guilford Press.
Murray, L., Trevarthen C. (1985). Emotional regulation of interactions between two-month-olds and
their mothers. In Social perception in infants (ed. T. Field and N. Fox), pp. 177-97. Norwood,
NJ: Ablex.
Nadel, J., Carchon, I., Kervella, C., Marcelli, D. and Réserbat-Plantey, D. (1999).
Expectancies for social contingency in 2-month-olds. Developmental Science, 2, 164-73.
Nadel, J., Guérini, C., Pezé, A., and Rivet, C. (1999). The evolving nature of imitation as a format for
communication. In Imitation in infancy, (ed. J. Nadel and G. Butterworth), pp. 209-34).
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nagy, E., Molnâr, P. (2003). Homo imitans or Homo provocans? Human imprinting model of
neonatal imitation. Infant Behaviour and Development, 27, 54-63.
Nakano, S. and Kanaya, Y. (1993). The effects of mothers’ teasing: do Japanese infants read their
mothers’ play intention in teasing? Early Development and Parenting. 2, 7-17.
Nash, A. and Hay, D. F. (2003). Social relations in infancy: origins and evidence. Human Development, 46,
Nelson, K. (1996). Language in cognitive development: emergence of the mediated mind. New
York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Panksepp, J. (1998). Affective neuroscience: the foundations of human and animal emotions. New
York: Oxford University Press
Panksepp, J. (2000). Affective consciousness and the instinctual motor system. The neural sources of
sadness and joy. R. Ellis and N. Newton (Eds.) The caldron of consciousness. motivation. affect
and self-organization. (Advances in Consciousness Research, Vol 16, pp. 27-54). Amsterdam:
John Benjamins Pub. Co.
Panksepp, J. and Bernatzky , G. (2002). Emotional sounds and the brain: the neuro-affective foundations of
musical appreciation. Behavioural Processes. 60, 133-55.
Panksepp, J. and Burgdorf, J. (2003). ‘Laughing’ rats and the evolutionary antecedents of human joy?
Physiology and Behavior, 79, 533-47.
Papousek, H., and Papousek, M. (1987). Intuitive parenting: A dialectic counterpart to the infant's
integrative competence. In Handbook of infant development, 2nd. edn (ed. J. D. Osofsky),
pp. 669-720. New York: Wiley.
Plooij, F. X. (2003). The trilogy of mind. In Regression periods in human infancy. (ed. M.
Heimann), pp. 185-205. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Plooij, F. X.., van de Rijt-Plooij, H. H. C., van der Stelt, J. M., et al. (2003). Illness peaks during
infancy and regression periods. In Regression periods in human infancy. (ed. M. Heimann), pp.
81-95. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Pöppel, E. (1994). Temporal mechanisms in perception. International Review of Neurobiology, 37,
Pöppel, E. and Wittmann, M. (1999). Time in the mind. In The MIT encyclopedia of the cognitive
sciences, (ed. R. Wilson and F. Keil). pp.836-7. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
Porges, S. W. (2003). The polyvagal theory: Phylogenetic contributions to social behavior.
Physiology and Behavior, 79, 503-13.
Reddy, V. (2003). On being the object of attention: implications for self-other consciousness.
TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences. 7(9), 397-402
Rizzolatti, G., Fogassi, L. and Gallese, V. (2001) Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the
understanding and imitation of action. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2, 661-70
Robb, L. (1999). Emotional musicality in mother-infant vocal affect, and an acoustic study of
postnatal depression. In Rhythms. musical narrative, and the origins of human
communication. Musicae Scientiae. Special Issue. 1999-2000, (ed. I. Deliège), pp. 123-151.
Liège, Belgium: European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music.
Rock, A. M. L., Trainor, L. J., and Addison, T. L. (1999). Distinctive messages in infant- directed
lullabies and play songs. Developmental Psychology, 35, 527-34.
Rogoff, B., Paradise, R., Arauz, R. M., Correa-Châvez, M., and Angelillo, C. (2003). Firsthand learning
through intent participation. Annual Review of Psychology. 54, 175-203.
Rolls, E. T. (1999). The brain and emotion. Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press.
Rothbart, M. K. (1994). What develops in emotional development? Emotional development: Changes
in reactivity and self-regulation. In The nature of emotions, (ed. P. Ekman, and J. Davidson),
pp. 369-72). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Scherer, K.R. 1986. Vocal affect expression: A review and a model for future research. Psychological
Bulletin, 99,143-65.
Schore, A. N. (1994). Affect regulation and the origin of the self: the neurobiologv of emotional
development. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Schore, A. N. (2003). Affect regulation and disorders of the self. New York: Norton.
Schulkin, J., Thompson, B. L. and Rosen, J. B. (2003). Demythologising the emotions: adaptation,
cognition, and visceral representations of emotion in the nervous system. Brain and Cognition,
52, 15-23.
Selby, J. M. and Bradley, B. S. (2003). Infants in groups: A paradigm for study of early social
experience. Human Development. 46, 197-221.
Smith, A. (1759). Theory of moral sentiments. Edinburgh (Modern Edition, ed. D. D. Raphael and A.L.
Macfie, Oxford: Clarendon, 1976. Reprint, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1984)
Spelke, E. S. (1998). Nativism, empiricism and the origins of knowledge. Infant Behavior and
Development, 21, 181-200.
Sperry, R. W. (1952). Neurology and the mind-brain problem. American Scientist. 40, 291-312.
Sperry, R. W. (1963). Chemoaffinity in the orderly growth of nerve fiber patterns and connections
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. USA, 50, 703-10.
Sroufe, L. A. (1977). Wariness of strangers and the study of infant development. Child Development, 48,
Sroufe,L. A. (1996). Emotional development: the organisation of emotional life in the early years.
New York: Cambridge University Press
Sroufe, L. A. and Waters, E. (1976). The ontogenesis of smiling and laughter: A perspective on the
organization of development in infancy. Psychological Reviews, 83, 173-89.
Stanghellini, G. (2001). Psychopathology of common sense. In Philosophy, psychiatry, and
psychology, Vol. 8(2/3), June/September 2001. Special Issue: On understanding and explaining
schizophrenia. (Guest editor. Ch. Hoerl), pp. 201-18 (with a commentary by L.A. Sass)
Stern, D. N. (1974). Mother and infant at play: The dyadic interaction involving facial, vocal and gaze
behaviours. In The effect of the infant on its caregiver, (ed. M. Lewis and L.A. Rosenblum), pp.
187-213. New York: Wiley.
Stern, D. N. (1993). The role of feelings for an interpersonal self. In The perceived self: ecological and
interpersonal sources of self-knowledge, (ed. U. Neisser), pp. 205-15. New York: Cambridge
University Press.
Stern, D. N. (1999). Vitality contours: The temporal contour of feelings as a basic unit for
constructing the infant's social experience. In Early social cognition: understanding others in
the first months of life, (ed. P. Rochat), pp. 67-90). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Stern, D. N. (2000). The interpersonal world of the infant: a view from psychoanalysis and
development psychology. (Second Edition) New York: Basic Books.
Tomasello, M (1988). The role of joint attentional processes in early language development.
Language Sciences, 10, 69-88.
Tomasello, M. (1999). The cultural origins of human cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Trevarthen, C. (1980). The foundations of intersubjectivity: Development of interpersonal and
cooperative understanding of infants. In The social foundations of language and thought: essays
in honor of J. S. Bruner. (ed. D. Olson), pp. 316-42. New York: W. W. Norton.
Trevarthen, C. (1984). Emotions in infancy: Regulators of contacts and relationships with persons. In
Approaches to emotion, (ed. K. Scherer and P. Ekman), pp. 129-57). Hillsdale, N.J., Erlbaum.
Trevarthen, C. (1985) Neuroembryology and the development of perceptual mechanisms. In Human growth
(2nd Edition), (ed. F. Falkner and J.M. Tanner) , pp. 301-83. New York: Plenum,
Trevarthen, C. (1986a). Development of intersubjective motor control in infants. In Motor
development in children: aspects of coordination and control. (ed. M.G. Wade and H.T.A.
Whiting), pp. 209-61. Dordrecht, Martinus Nijhof.
Trevarthen, C. (1986b). Form, significance and psychological potential of hand gestures of infants. In
The biological foundation of gestures: motor and semiotic aspects. (ed. J-L. Nespoulous, P.
Perron, and A. R. Lecours), pp. 149-202. Hillsdale, N.J: Erlbaum.
Trevarthen, C. (1987). Sharing makes sense: Intersubjectivity and the making of an infant's meaning. In R.
Steele and T. Threadgold (ed.), Language topics: essays in honour of Michael Halliday, Vol. 1, (pp.
177-199). Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Trevarthen, C. (1990). Signs before speech. In The semiotic web. 1989. (ed. T. A. Sebeok and J.
Umiker-Sebeok), 689-755. Berlin, New York, Amsterdam: Mouton de Gruyter.
Trevarthen, C. (1993). The function of emotions in early infant communication and development.
In New perspectives in early communicative development, (ed. J. Nadel and L. Camaioni),
pp. 48-81. London: Routledge.
Trevarthen, C. (1994). Infant semiosis. In Origins of semiosis. (ed. W. Noth), pp. 219-52). Berlin:
Mouton de Gruyter.
Trevarthen, C. (1995). Mother and baby - seeing artfully eye to eye. In The artful eye. (ed. R.
Gregory, J. Harris, D. Rose, et al.), pp. 157-200. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
Trevarthen, C. (1997) The nature of motives for human consciousness. Psychology: The Journal of
the Hellenic Psychological Society (Special Issue: The place of psychology in contemporary
sciences, Part 2. Guest Editor, T. Velli), 4(3), 187- 221.
Trevarthen, C. (1998). The concept and foundations of infant intersubjectivity. In Intersubjective
communication and emotion in early ontogeny, (ed. S.Brâten), pp. 15-46). Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Trevarthen, C. (1999) Musicality and the Intrinsic Motive Pulse: Evidence from human
psychobiology and infant communication In Rhythms. musical narrative, and the origins of
human communication. Musicae Scientiae. Special Issue. 1999-2000, pp. 157-213. European
Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music, Liège.
Trevarthen, C. (2001a) Intrinsic motives for companionship in understanding: Their origin,
development and significance for infant mental health. Infant Mental Health Journal. 22(1-2),
Trevarthen, C. (2001b) The neurobiology of early communication: Intersubjective regulations in human
brain development. In Handbook on brain and behavior in human development. (ed. A. F. Kalverboer
and A. Gramsbergen), pp. 841-82. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Trevarthen, C. (2002). Origins of musical identity: evidence from infancy for musical social
awareness. In Musical identities. (ed. R. MacDonald, D. J. Hargreaves, and D. Miell), pp. 21-
38. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Trevarthen, C. (2003a). Language development: mechanisms in the brain. In Encyclopedia of neuroscience.
(ed. G. Adelman and B. H. Smith), 3rd Edition, with CD-ROM. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.
Trevarthen, C. (2003b) Memory as motor activity: The brain making time, going places and finding
objectives in company In Frühe Kommunikation und autobiographisches Gedàchtnis. BIOS:
Zeitschrift ftir Biographieforschung. Oral History und Lebensverlaufsanalvsen. 2, 213-40.
Trevarthen, C. (2004). How infants learn how to mean. In A learning zone of one's own. SONY
Future of Learning Series, (ed. M. Tokoro and L. Steels) (in press). Amsterdam: IOS
Trevarthen, C. and Aitken K. J. (1994). Brain development, infant communication, and empathy
disorders: Intrinsic factors in child mental health. Development and Psychopathology. 6, 599-
Trevarthen, C. and Aitken, K. J. (2001). Infant intersubjectivity: Research, theory, and clinical
applications. Annual Research Review. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and
Allied Disciplines. 42(1), 3-48.
Trevarthen, C. and Aitken, K. J. (2003). Regulation of brain development and age-related changes in
infants’ motives: the developmental function of “regressive” periods. In Regression periods in
human infancy (ed. M. Heimann), pp. 107-84. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum
Trevarthen, C. and Hubley, P. (1978) Secondary intersubjectivity: confidence, confiding and acts of
meaning in the first year. In Action. gesture and symbol: the emergence of language. (ed. A.
Lock), pp. 183-229. London: Academic Press.
Trevarthen, C. and Logotheti, K. (1987). First symbols and the nature of human knowledge. In
Symbolisme et connaissance/ Symbolism and knowledge. Cahier No. 8, Jean Piaget Archives
Fondation, (ed. J. Montangero, A. Tryphon and S. Dionnet), pp. 65-92. Geneva: Jean Piaget
Archives Fondation.
Trevarthen, C. and Malloch, S. (2002). Musicality and music before three: Human vitality and invention
shared with pride. Zero to Three, 23(1), 10-18.
Trevarthen, C., Kokkinaki, T. and Fiamenghi, G. A. Jr. (1999). What infants' imitations
communicate: With mothers, with fathers and with peers. In Imitation in infancy, (ed. J. Nadel
and G. Butterworth), pp. 127-85. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tronick, E. Z., Als, H., Adamson, L., Wise, S. and Brazelton,T. B. (1978). The infant's response to
entrapment between contradictory messages in face-to-face interaction. Journal of the
American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 17, 1-13.
Tucker, D.M, Derryberry, D., Luu, P. (2000). Anatomy and physiology of human emotion. In
Neuropsychology of emotion (ed. J. C. Borod), pp. 56-79. New York: Oxford University Press.
Tulving, E. (2002). Episodic memory from mind to brain. Annual Review of Psychology, 53:1-25.
Turner, F. (1991) Beauty: the value of values. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.
Turner, M. (1996). The literary mind: the origins of thought and language. New York: Oxford
University Press.
Tzourio-Mazoyer, N., De Schonen, S., et al. (2002) Neural correlates of woman face processing by 2-month-
old infants. Neuroimage, 15, 454-61.
Von Hofsten, C. (2001). On early development of action, perseption and cognition. In F. Lacerda, C. von
Hofsten, and M. Heimann. (ed.) Emerging Cognitive Abilities in Early Infancy, pp. 73-89. Mahwah,
NJ: Erlbaum
Watson, J. S. (1972). Smiling, cooing and the game. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 18, 323-39.
Wicker, B., Perrett, D. I., Baron-Cohen, S. and Decety, J. (2003). Being the target of another’s
emotion: a PET study. Neuropsychologia. 41, 139-46.
Zei Pollermann B. (2002). A place for prosody in a unified model of cognition and emotion. In
Proceedings of speech prosody 2002. Universitié de Aix-en- Provence. France.
... Social or relational emotions belong to the causes of consciousness, according to Trevarthen (2005a). This may apply to loneliness too and contrasts with the long-standing interpretations of loneliness as an outcome of cognitive processes, that is, of individuals' awareness of their relational (quantitative and/or qualitative) deficits, which, in turn, stems from the perception of the dissonance between the expected and the real level of relationships (e.g., Peplau and Perlman, 1982). ...
... Regarding loneliness, if infants have feelings like ours (Trevarthen, 2005a), they are bound to have this experience, although they cannot use language to convey it. This may be one reason why their loneliness is neglected by researchers. ...
... Private thinking and social communicating co-exist in corresponding and complementary ways from the beginning of life. The minds of mother and infant are together while having their separate recollections and purposes and while sharing these reflective, meditative states (Hobson, 2002;Trevarthen, 2005a). I would call this shared experience of mother and infant solitude à deux and I suggest that, if sympathy means respect for the other person's autonomy even when there is disapproval (Trevarthen, 2005c), it is the sympathetic mother that sets the stage for her child's life-long capacity to benefit from solitude. ...
Full-text available
This article is part of the Research Topic: "Intersubjectivity: Recent Advances in Theory, Research, and Practice" - Research Topic Editors: Colwyn Trevarthen, Jonathan T. Delafield-Butt, Emese Nagy, Theano Kokkinaki
... Brunner considers that some human beings are born with the innate gift of intersubjectivity (Bruner, 2008). A mutual awareness (Trevarthen, 2005) or a shared space (Bruner, 1998) guides the possibility of perceiving the Other. Marková (2003) states the existence of similar mechanisms for knowing oneself and knowing the Other. ...
... Marková (2003) states the existence of similar mechanisms for knowing oneself and knowing the Other. The mere existence of Other can trigger sympathy or antagonism, but their presence is always admitted (Trevarthen, 2005). The dyad I-Other implies that, although it can be asymmetrical (Marková, 2003), both participants in the dyad contribute to creating a unique shared experience. ...
... The dyad I-Other implies that, although it can be asymmetrical (Marková, 2003), both participants in the dyad contribute to creating a unique shared experience. The studies with infants show that either the caregiver/parent or the baby can start or end interaction of sounds, words, gestures, and gazes (Trevarthen, 2005(Trevarthen, , 2004Bruner, 1998). Since the early moments of life, subjects have been building their knowledge by interacting with significant others. ...
Full-text available
Jaan Valsiner has been pivotal in my research endeavor. His contributions to the educational field are enormous. He has invited researchers to focus on the individual and the context from an interdisciplinary perspective leading to inspiring ideas that can materialize in novel ways. As an advocate of interdisciplinarity, he has gathered researchers and practitioners together in the Kitchen research group. This weekly innovative global online meeting sees attendees sharing knowledge and experience, thus expanding research borders and adding a global perspective to the presenters' research. Kitchen Seminar is an academic activity born in a university kitchen and evolved into a symbolic online space where novel and experienced researchers can feel at home and free to discuss ideas. When asked to contribute to this issue, I aimed to write a pilot study in the Kitchen fashion, a paper that can trigger debate and discussion and be enriched by different perspectives. In this piece, I will attempt to explore how two subjects, a schoolgirl and a university student from Argentina, perceived their teachers’ social presence during the switch to emergency remote learning and teaching during the 2020s global health crises from cultural psychology of semiotic mediation perspective. When the usual school practice was suspended, and the screen became a ubiquitous school, the relationship between students and teachers turned into a technology-mediated one. After a brief theoretical discussion, the analysis of the subjects’ narratives can hopefully offer a glimpse of the ways intersubjectivity operated in remote teaching and learning during the period under analysis. I hope many researchers will provide insightful comments that will enrich this work following the Kitchen manners.
... Both are organised within the same narrative experiences, which gives them their tight relationship. It is through this narrative organisation we can understand language as tightly coupled to feelings, and its movement in music or poetry (Trevarthen, 1995(Trevarthen, , 2005. Scottish Englightenment philosopher Thomas Reid highlighted the importance of this affective aspect of language, which he called 'natural signs', as more powerful than the technical meaning of 'artificials signs' of the words placed on top -"Artificial signs signify, but they do not express; they speak to the understanding, as algebraical characters may do, but the passions, the affections, and the will, hear them not: these continue dormant and inactive, till we speak to them in the language of nature, to which they are all attention and obedience." ...
... The importance of narrative in solo projects and communication also makes it integral to the development of our understanding of the world, understanding of others, and understanding of ourselves (Bruner, 1990;Zahavi, 2007). The patterned nature of arousal and energy, inherent to narrative architecture, gives structure to the process of emotional regulation of all forms of movement and meaning-making in intersubjective states (Damásio, 1999;Trevarthen, 2005). Its predicable, regular patterns enable the coordination of sympathy between individuals in the shared time of vocal and motor expressions of affect, interest, and intention (Delafield-Butt & Trevarthen, 2015). ...
Full-text available
We review evidence of non-verbal, embodied narratives in human infancy to better understand their form and function as generators of common experience, regulation, and learning. We examine their development prior to the onset of language, with a view to improve understanding of narrative as regular motifs or schemas of early experience in both solitary and social engagement. Embodied narratives are composed of regular patterns of interest, arousal, affect, and intention that yield a characteristic four-part structure of (i) introduction, (ii) development, (iii) climax, and (iv) resolution. Made with others these form co-created shared acts of meaning, and are parsed in time with discreet beginnings and endings that allow a regular pattern to frame and give predictive understanding for prospective regulation (especially important within social contexts) that safely returns to baseline again. This characteristic pattern, co-created between infant and adult from the beginning of life, allows the infant to contribute to, and learn, the patterns of its culture. We conclude with a view on commonalities and differences of co-created narrative in non-human primates, and discuss implications of disruption to narrative co-creation for developmental psychopathology.
... The subsequent engagement allowed the narrative to materialise. Trevarthen (1993Trevarthen ( , 2005 explains that language is invented in the routine experience-it is a tool fabricated from collective human fantasy and learned by sharing. Sharing, in this case, is the result of interpretation of meanings (usually studied in the adult-child relationship) throughout the interaction. ...
Full-text available
Human beings are constituted through the presence and actions of others whom they encounter during the course of their lives. We are constituted by all the interactions we enact in different social contexts and through all the meanings we create together about the experiences we share. Therefore, in order to understand the ontogenesis of cognition, one must understand how meanings are constructed with the others we encounter. A substantial amount of research has addressed how infants and toddlers-when in interaction with adults-are able to understand others' actions and engage in social dynamics by coordinating and regulating adults' actions. This knowledge has advanced the field of developmental psychology significantly. However, not many efforts have been made to understand the origins of social cognition via peer interactions or explore how peer interactions constitute cognitive development. In this theoretical article, we use the microanalysis of three peer interaction episodes to discuss how the constitutive role of peer experiences can be analysed beyond isolated individual processes. The encounter, the situation and the social and relational process are used as a unit of analysis. This analytical approach considers the contributions and insights provided by the enactive theory, which offers a perspective to understand the processes of cognitive development in interactive experiences.
... Several behavioural studies highlighted the early development of emotional contagion in humans that is largely reflected in emotional mimicry (Decety, 2010;Leppänen & Nelson, 2008;Panksepp & Panksepp, 2013). For example, newborns and infants become vigorously distressed by another cry (Dondi et al., 1999;Trevarthen, 2005) and, from the second half of the first year of life, children become able to identify and mimic discrete facial expressions of emotion such as smiles (Leppänen & Nelson, 2008). The mechanism allowing a child to reflexively mimic a smile is thought to be the same allowing the reflexive mimicry of yawning (Dimberg et al., 2000). ...
Yawning is a primitive and stereotyped motor action involving orofacial, laryngeal, pharyngeal, thoracic and abdominal muscles. Contagious yawning, an involuntarily action induced by viewing or listening to others' yawns, has been demonstrated in human and several non‐human species. Previous studies with humans showed that infants and preschool children, socially separated during video experiments, were not infected by others' yawns. Here, we tested the occurrence of yawn contagion in 129 preschool children (ranging from 2.5 to 5.5 years) belonging to five different classes by video recording them in their classrooms during the ordinary school activities. As it occurs in adult humans, children of all ages were infected by others' yawns within the 2 min after the perception of the stimulus. The yawn contagion occurred earlier than previously thought. For children, it appears that the natural social setting is more conducive to yawn contagion than the inherently artificial experimental approach. Moreover, children's gender did not affect the level of contagious yawning. The neural, emotional and behavioural traits of preschool children are probably not sufficiently mature to express variability between boys and girls; nevertheless, children appeared to be already well equipped with the 'neural toolkit' necessary for expressing yawn contagion.
Intersubjectivity is a criterion for online dialogue content. It is a reflection of information building in a dialogue that occurs as a result of a synergistic development through particular responses to a series of interconnected contributions. One such greater level of information creation is needed in an educational environment based on the philosophy of social constructivism. Intersubjectivity is affected by technology usage in every system since it is concerned with the synchronisation of specific perspectives during a conversation. Although intersubjectivity may be applied to dialogue that takes place in a shared material environment, such as an on-site school, the emphasis of such a report is on technology-mediated dialogue. The concept of intersubjectivity, its evolution as a term, its importance in online education, its separation from mere contact, and the impact of technology will all be discussed in this paper. Thus this paper is evaluating the framework of intersubjectivity in learning and also the use of it in digital technology which is also termed as technological intersubjectivity. The paper concludes by advancing author’s own position on the same during the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic®
Full-text available
It is well documented that the ability and motivation to engage with others in collaborative activities with joint goals and shared intentions is the foundation of human uniqueness. However, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) show difficulties in sharing their motives, intentions, and emotions with others about topics in the environment and manifest low levels of engagement. The purpose of the present study was to compare the level of intentionality and social engagement in 10 children with ASD and 10 typically developing (TD) children, matched for mental age, during free play interactions with their mothers. Children were video recorded while playing with their mothers in a naturalistic condition with toys provided by the researcher. For the microanalysis of the video recordings the EUDICO Linguistic Annotator was used, which permits the analysis of joint behaviors and captures subtle qualitative differences in social engagement. Results indicated that children with ASD showed deficits in joint attention, exhibited no functional play and employed less communicative gestures than their peers in the comparison group. These differences between the two groups in their mode of communication led to the emergence of two distinct patterns of engagement which depict the different level of intentionality that these groups have in sharing their experiences during mother-child interactions. These representative patterns of interaction can be used as a potential tool for early identification of children at risk of ASD well before other behaviors become fully manifested.
In the past, researchers have treated the development of the emotions and the task of emotional regulation as two separate topics, the former emphasizing 'normative' questions and the latter emphasizing 'individual' differences. Until now, understanding the first topic has never been seen as relevant for the second. This is the area pioneered by Emotional Development. This book presents the early phases of emotional life from a developmental perspective. It argues that emotional generation hinges on the developing ability to express arousal or 'tension' in accordance with one's context. It reveals the common core processes underlying the emergence of specific emotions and the capacity for emotional regulation. It explains the timing of emotional emergence, why emotions function as they do, and also explores individual styles of emotional regulation. Close ties between emotional development, cognitive, social and CNS development are discussed, too.