The Infant Mind

Origins of the Social Brain

By Maria Legerstee, David W. Haley, Marc H. Bornstein

© 2013 – Guilford Press

367 pages

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About the Book

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.


“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

Table of Contents

Part I: Evolutionary, Neural, and Philosophical Approaches to the Social Mind. Dunbar, An Evolutionary Basis for Social Cognition. Gallese, Rochat, The Evolution of Motor Cognition: Its Role in the Development of Social Cognition and Implications for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Gallagher, When the Problem of Intersubjectivity Becomes the Solution. Part II: Social Experience and Epigenetic Mechanisms of Gene–Environment Interactions. Pluess, Stevens, Belsky, Differential Susceptibility: Developmental and Evolutionary Mechanisms of Gene–Environment Interactions. Knafo, Uzefovsky, Variation in Empathy: The Interplay of Genetic and Environmental Factors. Part III: The Dynamic Role of Early Social Experience in Vision, Memory, and Haan, Carver, Development of Brain Networks for Visual Social-Emotional Information Processing in Infancy. Bauer, Event Memory: Neural, Cognitive, and Social Influences on Early Development. Trevarthen, Delafield-Butt, Biology of Shared Experience and Language Development: Regulations for the Intersubjective Life of Narratives. Walker-Andrews, Krogh-Jespersen, Mayhew, Coffield, The Situated Infant: Learning in Context. Part IV: The Role of Early Experience in Social Development. Legerstee, The Developing Social Brain: Social Connections and Social Bonds, Social Loss, and Jealousy in Infancy. Haley, Infant Memory Consolidation: The Social Context of Stress, Learning, and Memory. Bornstein, Mother–Infant Attunement: A Multilevel Approach via Body, Brain, and Behavior. Part V: Neural Processes of Mental Awareness.Sabbagh, Benson, Kuhlmeier, False-Belief Understanding in Infants and Preschoolers. Mundy, Neural Connectivity, Joint Attention, and the Social-Cognitive Deficits of Autism.

About the Authors

Maria Legerstee, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Director of the Infancy Centre for Research. 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, Canada, 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. 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.

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