The Infant Mind : Origins of the Social Brain book cover
1st Edition

The Infant Mind
Origins of the Social Brain

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ISBN 9781462508174
Published March 18, 2013 by Guilford Press
367 Pages

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Book Description

Integrating cutting-edge research from multiple disciplines, this book provides a dynamic and holistic picture of the developing infant mind. Contributors explore the transactions among genes, the brain, and the environment in the earliest years of life. The volume probes the neural correlates of core sensory, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social capacities. It highlights the importance of early relationships, presenting compelling findings on how parent-infant interactions influence neural processing and brain maturation. Innovative research methods are discussed, including applications of behavioral, hormonal, genetic, and brain imaging technologies.

Table of Contents

I. Evolutionary, Neural, and Philosophical Approaches to the Social Mind
1. An Evolutionary Basis for Social Cognition, Robin I. M. Dunbar
2. The Evolution of Motor Cognition: Its Role in the Development of Social Cognition and Implications for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Vittorio Gallese and Magali Rochat
3. When the Problem of Intersubjectivity Becomes the Solution, Shaun Gallagher
II. Social Experience and Epigenetic Mechanisms of GeneEnvironment Interactions
4. Differential Susceptibility: Developmental and Evolutionary Mechanisms of GeneEnvironment Interactions, Michael Pluess, Suzanne E. Stevens, and Jay Belsky
5. Variation in Empathy: The Interplay of Genetic and Environmental Factors, Ariel Knafo and Florina Uzefovsky
III. The Dynamic Role of Early Social Experience in Vision, Memory, and Language
6. Development of Brain Networks for Visual Social-Emotional Information Processing in Infancy, Michelle de Haan and Leslie J. Carver
7. Event Memory: Neural, Cognitive, and Social Influences on Early Development, Patricia J. Bauer
8. Biology of Shared Experience and Language Development: Regulations for the Intersubjective Life of Narratives, Colwyn Trevarthen and Jonathan Delafield-Butt
9. The Situated Infant: Learning in Context, Arlene Walker-Andrews, Sheila Krogh-Jespersen, Estelle Mayhew, and Carrie Coffield
IV. The Role of Early Experience in Social Development
10. The Developing Social Brain: Social Connections and Social Bonds, Social Loss, and Jealousy in Infancy, Maria Legerstee
11. Infant Memory Consolidation: The Social Context of Stress, Learning, and Memory, David W. Haley
12. MotherInfant Attunement: A Multilevel Approach via Body, Brain, and Behavior, Marc H. Bornstein
V. Neural Processes of Mental Awareness
13. False-Belief Understanding in Infants and Preschoolers, Mark A. Sabbagh, Jeannette E. Benson, and Valerie A. Kuhlmeier
14. Neural Connectivity, Joint Attention, and the Social-Cognitive Deficits of Autism, Peter Mundy

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Maria Legerstee, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Infancy Centre for Research at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is the recipient of a 5-year Canada University Research Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and a Dean's Award for Outstanding Research from York University. Dr. Legerstee is a member of the editorial boards of Infant Behavior and Development and Infant and Child Development. Her research focuses on behavioral and neurological correlates of social-cognitive development during early childhood.

David W. Haley, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, where he serves as Principal Investigator in the Parent-Infant Research Lab and as Co-Organizer of the Centre for Parenting Research. His research examines the development of infant stress, learning, and memory in the context of the parent-infant relationship. Dr. Haley is currently examining the neural correlates of attention regulation in infants and parents.

Marc H. Bornstein, PhD, is Senior Investigator and Head of Child and Family Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland. He has published in experimental, methodological, comparative, developmental, and cultural science, as well as neuroscience, pediatrics, and aesthetics. Dr. Bornstein is Founding Editor of the journal Parenting: Science and Practice.


If you are looking for current research and ideas on the origins of the social mind and brain, this is the book. Prominent researchers provide thorough coverage of cutting-edge work in behavioral and developmental neuroscience. An excellent introduction to the field.--Philippe Rochat, PhD, Department of Psychology, Emory University

Legerstee, Haley, and Bornstein have put together a stunning volume on how the mind of the infant comes into being. Each chapter genuinely adds to our understanding of the process. The reader will come away with a more complex--and simultaneously coherent--understanding of how infants develop self-awareness and connect to the social world. It's no surprise that the book is as good as it is; each of the editors has made unique and major contributions to the field.--Ed Tronick, PhD, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts-Boston

This superlative book takes readers on a journey into the inner recesses of the infant mind, from the emergence of intersubjectivity to the growth of dynamic human thriving. Understanding these developments has required creative and meticulous behavioral observations by many investigators, whose work is summarized here. The volume illuminates the primary-process skills that allow infants to interact with supportive others, and shows how social learning shapes enculturated mental functions within infant brains. This volume is an exceptional text for graduate courses in human development as well as a sourcebook for anyone interested in the modern developmental sciences of human nature and nurture.--Jaak Panksepp, PhD, Baily Endowed Chair of Animal Well-Being Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University

This impressive integrative volume furnishes a panoramic view of how the brain is rooted in early experiences, how the mind is formed from concrete action patterns and interpersonal exchanges, and how psychopathology is embedded in normative growth. A leading group of researchers charts a new agenda for developmental science. This book offers a unique frame for inquiry into questions that have baffled philosophers and scientists for centuries: What is it that makes us human, and how does it come about?--Ruth Feldman, PhD, Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Israel; Child Study Center, Yale University-_x000D_Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections.--Choice, 10/16/2013ƒƒ_x000D_“This excellent collection provides the specialist with summaries of research in many of the subdisciplines of developmental neuroscience….A valuable addition to the developmental neuroscience literature.”--PsycCRITIQUES, 11/20/2013