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Re: RE: [xmca] Response to Mike's question

Hi Mike

My computer lost your thread so I went back to Mabel's thread.
I looked up Daniel Stern's section in his book on developmental evidence for
intersubjective processes of "affect attunement", It starts on page 83. I
will write out in point form.

Beginning at birth early forms of intersubjectivity are seen in infants.
This argues for the "fundamental" nature of the intersubjective matrix in
which we develop. It also speaks to the issue of innnateness.
Intersubjectivity in very young infants has been researched.  For example
when mother and infant are in separate rooms but see each other on a monitor
as if sitting face to face and a split second delay in the sight or the
sound is introduced the infant quickly notices and the interaction breaks
up. Their conclusion was that "correspondence" is already expected in
interhuman contact. Trevarthen calls this "primary intersubjectivity"
Stern and his collegues were interested in how the mother/infant dyad lets
each other known about their inner feeling states.If an infant emitts an
affective behavior AFTER the event how can the mother let the infant know
she grasped not only what the infant did but also the feeling the infant
experienced that lat behind what he did? The emphasis has shifted from the
overt behavior to the subjective feeling behind what he did? Stern labels
"affect attunement" (in contrast to imitation)  the path to capturing the
way that the infant becomes sensitive to the behavior, timing, and affect of
Before 3 months infants are most interested in events that are perfectly
contingent with their behavior.. Between 4 to 6 months they become
fascinated with events that are highly but imperfectly contingent with their
Infants are born with minds that are especially attuned to other minds as
manifested in their behavior.. From birth onward one can speak of a
psychology of mutually sensitive minds. In short an early form of
intersubjectivity is present.
At 7 to 9 months infants become capable of more elaborate forms of
intersubjectivity well before the infant is verbal or symbolic. The sharable
mental states start to include goal-directed intentions, focus of attention,
and as before, the experience of action. At this this stage far more work is
going on concerning the sharing of the focus of  attention in order to
TRIANGULATE AN OBJECT, where the infant "passes through the other" to reach
the object.  This is a cognitive aspect of intersubjectivity NECESSARY for
symbolization and language.

Stern is more interested in the feeling/experiencing domain of
intersubjectivity. In this domain the reading of INTENTIONS are central to
the forms of intersubjectivity that appear very early in the infant. Some
pyschological element is needed to push, pull, activate or put events in
motion. Intentions, in one form or another, and in one state of completeness
or another, are always there driving forward the action or story.
Stern sees the world in terms of intentions.  You cannot function with
others without readinf or inferring their intentions. This reading or
attributing of intentions is our PRIMARY guide to responding and initiating
action. It is how we parse and interpret our surroundings.  Recognizing and
deciphering intentionality is the starting point for adaptation and
survival.  This perceiving/inferring of intentions in actions begins very
early in life. Braten calls this "altero-centered participation as the
ability to enter into the others experience and participate in it.

At 12 months "social referencing is seen. A common example is when an infant
learning to walk falls, she will look to her mother to "KNOW" what to feel.
If the mother expresses fear and concern, the infant will cry. If she
smiles, the baby will laugh.  In other words in situations of UNCERTAINTY or
AMBIVALENCE the affect state shown in others is referenced for the baby to
KNOW how to feel.

After 18 months, when the child becomes verbal, new forms of
intersubjectivity are quickly added.
Stern challenges the general "theory of mind" perspective of representing
"other" minds as mainly a cognitive process.Stern's position is that the
fundamental base for intersubjectivity is about feeling, not cognition.

In summary Stern's elaboration of the developmental evidence suggests that
beginning at birth the infant enters into an intersubjective matrix. As new
capacities are developed and new experiences become available, the infant is
swept into the intersubjective matrix, which has its own ONTOGENESIS. The
breadth and complexity of this matrix expands rapidly, even during the first
year of life when the infant is still presymbolic and preverbal. Then, in
the second year new experiences such as the "moral" emotions of shame,
guilt, and embarassment are drawn into the intersubjective mix. as something
the infant can now experience within himself and others. At each phase of
the life course, the intersubjective matrix grows deeper and richer.

Stern emphasizes what is at stake in psychological intimacy and
belongingness is regulated by the intersubjective matrix. This system
regulates psychological belongingness versus psychological aloneness. The
poles of  this spectrum are, at one end cosmic lonliness, and at the other,
fusion and disappearance of the self. The intersubjective system regulates
the zone of intersubjective comfort somewhwere between the two poles. The
exact point on the continuum must be NEGOTIATED continually with
second-to-second fine-tuning.  TOO MUCH IS AT STAKE for it not to be.
Stern believes intersubjective belongingness is different from physical,
sexual, attachment, or dependency ties. It is a form of group belonging that
is either unique to humans or has taken a qualitative leap in our species.
One can argue that the leap is language, but without intersubjectivity,
language could not develop.

The intersubjective system is separate but complementary to the attachment
system- and equally fundamental. Attachment theory has the two poles of
proximity/security at one pole and distance/exploration-curiosity at the
other pole.  The attachment system is designed for physical closeness and
group bonding, rather than for psychological intimacy. Many people who are
"strongly" attached do not share psychological closeness or intimacy (in
fact, its the opposite)  Intersubjectivity is needed for psychological

Stern points out in contrasting the systems of attachment and
intersubjectivity in experience they support and complement each other.
Stern points out that autistic children show greatly impaired
intersubjective skills but are attached to their parents. Stern believes it
is important to separate the two systems theoretically to understand that
people can be attached without sharing intimacy, or can be intersubjectively
intimate without being attached, or both, or neither. For the fullest
connection both attachment and intersubjectivity are needed.

Mike this was a long post to tease out the concepts Daniel Stern and others
are exploring.  He does not fall into the trap of metaphorically
infantalizing the adult as traditional psychoanalysis did.  He believes
these processes I outlined continue to be central for human connection
throughout the life cycle and the patterns are elaborated within cultural
contexts.  His purpose is not to negate all the perspectives emerging from
the "LINGUISTIC TURN" but to call our attention to the profound power of
change in the particular intersubjective encounters and enactments that are
being acted out in all our human activity.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Larry Purss" <lpurss@shaw.ca>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Sent: Sunday, November 15, 2009 10:09 AM
Subject: Re: RE: [xmca] Hello Other Brain, how are you?

Hi Mabel

Thanks for your reply.
I mentioned the "Boston Change Process Study Group" as a quick way to
explore this topic online.  However if you want the best source which
elaborates this perspective I'm discussing  I would recommend you get Daniel
Stern's book written recently which is called "The Present Moment in
Psychotherapy and Everyday Life".  He builds his case point by point and
references all the latest research in this area.  I"m glad to meet another
person on chat who works in school settings, not in a teacher role but in a
counselling role.  I also want to engage in school settings to promote the
"social turn" in emerging perspectives in our culture and how they translate
to school settings. Vygotsky has already been introduced to school settings
through explorations of "developmental psychology" and learning (scaffolding
and ZPD) and therefore is the best entry into schools to promote the "social
turn" in relational cultural psychology.  I, like Andy, Mike and others also
am interested in pragmatism, especially G.H. Mead as another stream of
thought on the "social turn".  For this reason I am interested in the chat
on Dewey and his perspective on "experience" as a term which can no longer
carry his meaning and  his preference for the term "cultural".  I believe
Dewey can be another way to amplify the "social turn" in school settings
because he already is seen as part of the historical narrative of school
My interest in relational psychoanalysis is my curiosity on how they are
embracing the "social turn" especially in the area of infant research.  What
they can add to the conversation is the recognition that development in the
first years of life (at the sensorimotor level and the affective level)
continues to develop and be elaborated and is not superceded by the
"linquistic turn".  As D. Stern emphasizes, all the conversation and
theorizing elaborating a new framework which embraces the "linquistic turn"
is vital and critical to "open new spaces" in which to be human and move
away with our fixation on the "encapsulated" individual of the Cartesian
Paradigm. However, Stern's 30 years of studying mother-infant
intersubjective relational patterns and others who share his sensibility
(The Boston Change Study Group for example) believe we must also elaborate
our understanding of "implicit relational knowing".  Andy's articles discuss
Winnicot and his model of developmental psychology as adding to G.H. Mead's
and other perspectives on the origins of the social "self". The perspective
of Stern is elaborating this line of inquiry in the moment to moment
PRACTICAL activity as we interact with others.
Mabel, like you I feel I'm bridging two worlds of experience and language
games in the public school system. At times its overwhelming and
disorienting as I try to elaborate a moral and ethical stance to guide how I
ought to act in settings which expect me to act within an intrapsychic
model. Vygotsky and CHAT  help refocus and revision how I ought to act..
I hope this helps.


----- Original Message -----
From: Mabel Encinas <liliamabel@hotmail.com>
Date: Sunday, November 15, 2009 9:03 am
Subject: RE: [xmca] Hello Other Brain, how are you?
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>

> Hi, Larry.
> Thank you very much for the reference.
> Actually, I have been studying 'affect attunement' (although I
> do not call it in this way) in junior high school. I also
> discuss the implicitness in the communitation, although I call
> that unconscious, because it is not necessary that something has
> to have been 'conscious' to become 'unconscious' (in
> psychotherapy I am not a psychoanalist, but a Gestalt
> psychotherapist, but my research is founded on Vygotsky). I will
> check this as well!
> Thank you again.
> Mabel
> > Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2009 19:50:05 -0800
> > From: lpurss@shaw.ca
> > Subject: Re: [xmca] Hello Other Brain, how are you?
> > To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> >
> > The discussion of the place of emotion in the developmental
> process is a central question.
> > I want to once again recommend googling "Boston Change Process
> Study Group" to read articles by a group of scholars engaging in
> exploring the interface BETWEEN emotions (implicit knowing) and
> consciousness (explicit understanding). Daniel Stern, a member
> of this group, is a seminal thinker in this area of study.
> > They have studied the intersubjective processes of "affect
> attunement" within the infant/caretaker relationship. They
> differentiate intersubjective processes (psychological
> processes) from "attachment" processes. HOWEVER what I believe
> is their major focus is the recognition that the processes of
> "implicit knowing" or "communication" that happen during infancy
> (implicit affective knowing) do NOT become superceded when
> language and symbolization is acquired. Their perspective is
> that this level of implicit knowing continues to develop and
> become more complex in the same way as cognition develops and
> becomes elaborated. They take the position that relating at the
> implicit level may become symbolically elaborated in language in
> an intersubjective context and thereby become explixit
> understanding. However it is their position that most implicit
> ways of relating remain imlicit or unformulated (NOT UNCONSCIOUS
> because they were never conscious before. The process is
> relational and NOT an intrapsychic phenomena. However one can
> take a phenomenological standpoint and make validity claims.
> However one could just as well choose to take an intersubjective
> communicative stance to "interpret" the processes. Or one could
> take a third person stance to "construct" an explanation. Each
> position taken allows one to make a validity claim one each
> claim is only an interpretation.
> > However it is at the implicit level of intersubjective
> contexts that " the person in "moments of meeting" experiences
> feeling engaged and vital.
> > I believe the construct of "learning" as mediated can benefit
> from incorporating this level of analysis.
> >
> > Andy this speaks to your statement that the "unit of analysis"
> should be the "subject" as elaborated by Hegel.
> >
> > Larry
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Wolff-Michael Roth <mroth@uvic.ca>
> > Date: Saturday, November 14, 2009 8:17 am
> > Subject: Re: [xmca] Hello Other Brain, how are you?
> > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> >
> > > In the following piece, we show how emotion (as evidenced in
> > > prosody)
> > > is a resource for the coordination of social action. Michael
> > >
> > > Cult Stud of Sci Educ
> > > DOI 10.1007/s11422-009-9203-8
> > > Solidarity and conflict: aligned and misaligned prosody
> > > as a transactional resource in intra- and intercultural
> > > communication involving power differences
> > > Wolff-Michael Roth Æ Kenneth Tobin
> > >
> > >
> > > On 2009-11-14, at 6:55 AM, Martin Packer wrote:
> > >
> > > I'm going to ignore Andy's request to ignore his message to
> > > Mabel,
> > > because I'm sure Mabel is not the only person being told
> this
> > > sort of
> > > thing. The claim, I suppose, is that emotion is a
> > > subjective
> > > experience, and therefore something mental, internal,
> > > personal,
> > > private and so inaccessible to other people, including the
> > > researcher,
> > > who has access only to the external 'expression' of that
> > > emotion, on
> > > the face, in movements, etc.
> > >
> > > Nonsense. How to argue against that view? Take a look at Joe
> > > de
> > > Rivera's work on emotions as interpersonal movements,
> towards or
> > > away
> > > from people on three interpersonal dimensions of intimacy,
> > > openness,
> > > and status. Read Hall and Cobey (1976) on emotion as
> > > transformation of
> > > the world. Read Mead's Mind, Self and Society where he
> > > challenges
> > > Darwin, insisting that "we cannot approach them [emotions]
> from
> > > the
> > > point of view of expressing a content in the mind of the
> > > individual" (p. 17) because to do so presumes a dualism
> > > between
> > > consciousness and the biological organism.
> > >
> > > These are some resources that come immediately to my mind.
> What
> > > can
> > > others out there recommend?
> > >
> > > Martin
> > >
> > >
> > > On Nov 14, 2009, at 4:42 AM, Andy Blunden wrote:
> > >
> > > > You have good muses Mabel (Vygotsky and Marx), pity you
> > > > don't have better supervisors. Your approach, studying
> > > > microsituations as social, is Vygotsky's approach too, I
> > > > think, and excellent one, that is often, I fear, not well
> > > > understood. I am probably the last person to ask about that
> > > > kind of problem as I have a devil of a problem making myself
> > > > understood. Others will know the answers to your questions
> > > > better than me, too. But I will mention a few suggestions.
> > > >
> > > > Mabel Encinas wrote:
> > > >> My supervisors are questioning now, that I do not study
> > > emotions,
> > > >> but "the expression of emotions". I know how to solidify
> > > my
> > > >> argument in this bit, but could you please give me some
> > > references
> > > >> of where should I read about the difference-relation
> > > between
> > > >> ontological and methodological dualism?
> > > >
> > > > I guess you have already read Vygotsky's comments on
> > > > ontological vs methodological/epistemological dualism:
> > > > http://marx.org/archive/vygotsky/works/crisis/psycri13.htm#p1367
> > > >
> > > > If you use Google on this one, you will probably find a page
> > > > where I am being attacked by someone called Neville for
> > > > failing to make this distinction. I am far from sure of the
> > > > value of that exchange but you are welcome to read it. I
> > > > would not attempt a short summary of this issue.
> > > >
> > > > I am not sure what you are being accused of about emotions.
> > > > Martha Nussbaum is a Critical Theorist who writes good stuff
> > > > about emotions. And of course everyone reads Antonio
> > > > Damassio, with his distinction between feelings and
> > > > emotions. Certainly, emotions are only present in
> > > > consciousness thanks to their "interpretation" by culturally
> > > > acquired concepts.
> > > >
> > > > ""the expression of emotions" is a strange expression to me.
> > > > Are they using "emotions" to refer to forms of consciousness
> > > > which are "expressed" in high blood pressure, etc? Or are
> > > > they using "emotions" to refer to physiological conditions,
> > > > which are "expressed" in the character of behavior. I don't
> > > > understand. I am sure others will know. Sounds like a
> > > > template accusation.
> > > >
> > > > Andy
> > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
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