Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self: The Neurobiology of Emotional Development

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L. Erlbaum Associates, 1994 - Medical - 736 pages
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During the past decade a diverse group of disciplines have simultaneously intensified their attention upon the scientific study of emotion. This proliferation of research on affective phenomena has been paralleled by an acceleration of investigations of early human structural and functional development. Developmental neuroscience is now delving into the ontogeny of brain systems that evolve to support the psychobiological underpinnings of socioemotional functioning. Studies of the infant brain demonstrate that its maturation is influenced by the environment and is experience-dependent. Developmental psychological research emphasizes that the infant's expanding socioaffective functions are critically influenced by the affect-transacting experiences it has with the primary caregiver. Concurrent developmental psychoanalytic research suggests that the mother's affect regulatory functions permanently shape the emerging self's capacity for self-organization. Studies of incipient relational processes and their effects on developing structure are thus an excellent paradigm for the deeper apprehension of the organization and dynamics of affective phenomena.

This book brings together and presents the latest findings of socioemotional studies emerging from the developmental branches of various disciplines. It supplies psychological researchers and clinicians with relevant, up-to-date developmental neurobiological findings and insights, and exposes neuroscientists to recent developmental psychological and psychoanalytic studies of infants. The methodology of this theoretical research involves the integration of information that is being generated by the different fields that are studying the problem of socioaffective development--neurobiology, behavioral neurology, behavioral biology, sociobiology, social psychology, developmental psychology, developmental psychoanalysis, and infant psychiatry. A special emphasis is placed upon the application and incorporation of current developmental data from neurochemistry, neuroanatomy, neuropsychology, and neuroendocrinology into the main body of developmental theory.

More than just a review of several literatures, the studies cited in this work are used as a multidisciplinary source pool of experimental data, theoretical concepts, and clinical observations that form the base and scaffolding of an overarching heuristic model of socioemotional development that is grounded in contemporary neuroscience. This psychoneurobiological model is then used to generate a number of heuristic hypotheses regarding the proximal causes of a wide array of affect-related phenomena--from the motive force that drives human attachment to the proximal causes of psychiatric disturbances and psychosomatic disorders, and indeed to the origin of the self.

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Working with young children and their families, this text has a world of information that greatly helps the family to communicate more effectively with their child. I love the data regarding the tremendous benefit for a child when the parent, or primary care giver, simply smiles at her...the more smiles, the better, for the child's healthy brain development...hooray. We need this on a billboard across America! And...that shame will have the opposite effect on brain development...more hooray! More billboards! Thanks so much for this marvelous compilation of information on the young child's brain...what helps, and what hinders. 

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BF720.E45 S36 1994 Read full review

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About the author (1994)

Allan N. Schore, PhD, is on the clinical faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, and at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain, and Development. He is the recipient of the American Psychological Association Division 56: Trauma Psychology "Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice in Trauma Psychology" and APA's Division 39: Psychoanalysis "Scientific Award in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to Research, Theory and Practice of Neuroscience and Psychoanalysis."He is also an honorary member of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He is author of three seminal volumes, Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self, Affect Dysregulation and Disorders of the Self and Affect Regulation and the Repair of the Self, as well as numerous articles and chapters. His Regulation Theory, grounded in developmental neuroscience and developmental psychoanalysis, focuses on the origin, psychopathogenesis, and psychotherapeutic treatment of the early forming subjective implicit self. His contributions appear in multiple disciplines, including developmental neuroscience, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, attachment theory, trauma studies, behavioral biology, clinical psychology, and clinical social work. His groundbreaking integration of neuroscience with attachment theory has lead to his description as "the American Bowlby" and with psychoanalysis as "the world's leading expert in neuropsychoanalysis." His books have been translated into several languages, including Italian, French, German, and Turkish.

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