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Re: [xmca] Honestly....

Thank you Larry for the reccomended reading.


Larry Purss <lpurss@shaw.ca>
Sent by: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu
04/28/2010 02:26 AM
Please respond to "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"

        To:     "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
        Subject:        Re: [xmca] Honestly....

Hi Eric
I've been away but have been reading the posts.
The question of what is "in the baby" and what is "in the mother" as 
innate [motivating] can be reframed as "can infants and mothers 
 I was the one who posted the Fonagey article as an example I was 
elaborating from Daniel Stern's book "The Present Moment"
Fonagey's insight that it is not mirrored activity but rather MARKED 
mirrored activity that ENGAGES BOTH infant and mother is key to a 
foundational human process of communication. By marking [A raised eyebrow, 
moving closer, smiling,] the parent directs the infants awareness to 
mother.  Martin's point that the infant is also reciprocally moving the 
mother, highlights its communicational intent.
Now Eric what I think you are asking [working wih boys in schools] is 
similar to my question.  Infants when communicating are RESPONDING to 
their mothers and also mothers are RESPONDING to the infants subjectivity 
[intentionality and awareness] and it is this MOVEMENT of self by other 
and other by self which is foundational to being human. [read Vasudevi 
Reddy for how early these processes start]
Now this "movement" is at the  experiential level of communication and 
because it is pre-symbolic the intersubjectivity is also experiential 
[what Reddy and Stern call the "experienced self" in contrast to the 
"conceptual self" which emerges with language.
Some theorists in dialogical theory embrace Stern's notion of the 
"experienced self" [see the Cambridge Handbook of Sociocultural 
Psychology] that is pre-linquistic. 
The key issue is "what is communication" and is it a process that exists 
BETWEEN people that changes the self's perception of the other AND the 
perception of self WITHIN intersubjective forms of communication.
As Stern points out intersubjectivity is a PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCT whereas 
ATTACHMENT is a biological construct.
Intersubjectivity and attachment motivation are separate processes but 
intertwine in a similar way that thought, meaning, and language are 
separate but intertwining processes [see Martin and David Kel's other 
Eric if you want an excellent summary of these topics from a 2nd person 
dialogic perspective I highly recommend Vasudevi Reddy's book "How Infants 
Know Minds" recommended by Rod Parker-Rees or Stern's book "The Present 

----- Original Message -----
From: Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu>
Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 7:26 pm
Subject: Re: [xmca] Honestly....
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>

> Helen,
> I am sure that you have a very smart daughter!  But I do 
> think that what you've described is not as unusual as the nurses 
> viewed it. Nurses do so much more than their fair share of the 
> work in a hospital that they don't generally have the time or 
> opportunity to observe what neonates are doing.
> A few weeks ago I mentioned here the research of Fajans, one of 
> Kurt Lewin's students, who showed that the response of an infant 
> to an interesting object varied depending on whether an adult 
> was present or not. The infant seemed to perceive the object as 
> more potentially available if someone were around to fetch it, 
> and of course during the first year infants require that other 
> people not only feed and clothe them, but move them around and 
> fetch and carry for them. In your case, you facilitated your 
> infant daughter's response to the nurse entering the room by 
> supporting her, probably holding her in a seated position, 
> because the newborn's head is so large in proportion to the body 
> that they have very limited ability to move it unaided.
> It's interesting that your second observation was when she was 
> about 2 months old, because there's a marked change in the 
> organization of infant behavior at around six weeks. 
> Neonatologists distinguish 6 behavioral states in newborns, but 
> around 6 weeks it gets very hard to apply the criteria. I had 
> the opportunity to discuss this with Hanus Papousek, who I 
> believed first developed the scoring of these states, and he 
> confirmed my observation. One has the impression that already 
> the infant has acquired some degree of control of their own 
> reactions to the environment (note how I wove in those 
> Vygotskian terms!), and consequently has greater ability to 
> initiate interactions, such as the overtures to the other baby 
> that you describe. 
> Why infants are so fascinated by other infants continues to 
> puzzle me, however! Perhaps it's the similarity of tempo. 
> Martin
> On Apr 27, 2010, at 7:40 PM, Helen Grimmett wrote:
> > When I was in hospital with my first baby I was sitting on my 
> bed one
> > morning holding my new daughter and singing her a song, 
> engrossed in how
> > intently she was watching me. As I sang, a nurse entered the 
> room and
> > Natalie immediately swung her head round to look at her. The 
> nurse was
> > stunned, saying she had never seen such a young baby (a few 
> days old) do
> > that.
> > 
> > About 7-8 weeks later at my new mums group the maternal health nurse
> > commented on the way that Natalie (being held on my lap) was 
> watching> and smiling at the baby on the Mum's lap next to me. 
> "She's going to be
> > a bright one, that one!" she 'warned' me.
> > 
> > Being my first baby, I didn't recognise any of these actions 
> as unusual
> > and thought this must be what all babies do, but the maternity 
> nurses> who had seen hundreds of babies thought it was very 
> unusual. Perhaps
> > Martin, it was those very early (within hours) intense 
> interactions of
> > talking, singing and reading to her that 'summoned' her to 
> expect others
> > to be interesting to interact with too? But don't all new 
> parents do
> > this? (Well perhaps not the reading! - That was the luck of 
> this child
> > to have two primary school teachers as parents!)
> > 
> > Interesting....
> > Helen
> > 
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu>
> > Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 8:13 am
> > Subject: Re: [xmca] Honestly....
> > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> > 
> >> Andy,
> >> 
> >> Thanks for the Levontin, which I will read with pleasure. But 
> on 
> >> this issue I'm drawing more on my own experience than what I 
> read 
> >> in books. After I finished my undergraduate degree I didn't 
> want to 
> >> get a PhD, so I looked for work around London and managed to 
> get a 
> >> research job that involved conducting observations of 
> neonatal 
> >> behavior at birth and an assessment (designed by pediatrician 
> Berry 
> >> Brazelton) of their capabilities during the first weeks of 
> life (we 
> >> repeated it at intervals from about 3 hours to 6 weeks of 
> age). I 
> >> am attaching a photo I took of one of our research 
> participants to 
> >> illustrate why I think it's not quite right to say that 
> children 
> >> must 'acquire' the tendency to engage in interaction. To talk 
> of 
> >> the child being 'summoned' to interaction works better for 
> me, and 
> >> obviously children need to be drawn out (but 'trained'? Not 
> so sure 
> >> about that!). I forget the exact age of this child, but he 
> was 
> >> about 3 days old. My students are always surprised to see how 
> >> attentive and intent such a young baby can be.
> >> 
> >> Martin
> >> 
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