Document Detail

The human genome and the representational world: the role of early mother-infant interaction in creating an interpersonal interpretive mechanism.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11531137     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The author discusses the interrelationship of genetic predisposition, experiences in the first 3 years of life, and psychological disturbance in later development. The current emphasis on genetic determinism has led to the popular misconception that early relationships with caregivers play a relatively minor role in the development of mental disorder. The author argues that early attachment relationships matter because the mental mechanism moderating the expression of individual genotypes is intrinsically linked to the relationship with the primary caregiver. Attachment in infancy has the primary evolutionary function of generating a mind capable of inferring things about other people's minds, their thoughts, ideas, motivations, and intentions. The child needs to be able to make these inferences to arrive at a representation of the self in terms of a set of stable and generalized intentional attributes. Awareness of others' thoughts and feelings is necessary to ensure social collaboration. This formulation underscores the vital importance of parent training for the normal emotional and cognitive development of a child and the prevention of major psychological disturbance.
P Fonagy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic     Volume:  65     ISSN:  0025-9284     ISO Abbreviation:  Bull Menninger Clin     Publication Date:  2001  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-09-03     Completed Date:  2001-10-04     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7507032     Medline TA:  Bull Menninger Clin     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  427-48     Citation Subset:  IM    
Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis, University of London, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Child, Preschool
Mental Disorders / genetics*,  psychology
Mother-Child Relations*
Object Attachment*
Personality Development
Social Perception*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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