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Thinking about thinking about "thinking about thinking". Neurobiology as the background for brain and mind



Thinking about thinking about "thinking about thinking". Neurobiology as the background for brain and mind



Psychoanalytic Study of the Child 57: 93-117



This paper presents details of the development of recursive thought from early infancy to early childhood. During this period the child is said to face the task of developing a "representational theory of mind." In earlier writings I have suggested eight developmental stages of modeling of mind emerging from brain development. My emphasis has been that the selectionist neural Darwinian nature of the phylogenetic background for human brains and the accompanying nurture of the prolonged infant learning period for minds have together fashioned clear-cut steps of what the mind has to learn about thinking during this period. Object relations development of increasing sophistication emerges naturally from the recursive, back and forth communications between people and internally self-reflective dialogues, which take place together. Both natural selection and social instruction based on that selection are seen as necessary aspects of this development. The contributions of Edelman, Tomasello, Barresi and Moore, and Fonagy and Target are each uniquely useful to catch these infant development concepts. My contributions of eight infant developmental stages by four-and-a-half years of age fit with the findings of these others.

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Accession: 050780877

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PMID: 12723127


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