The Intersubjective Mirror in Infant Learning and Evolution of Speech

| University of Oslo
ISBN 9789027252128 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027289230 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
The Intersubjective Mirror in Infant Learning and Evolution of Speech illustrates how recent findings about primary intersubjectivity, participant perception and mirror neurons afford a new understanding of children’s nature, dialogue and language.

Based on recent infancy research and the mirror neurons discovery, studies of early speech perception, comparative primate studies and computer simulations of language evolution, this book offers replies to questions as: When and how may spoken language have emerged? How is it that infants so soon after birth become so efficient in their speech perception? What enables 11-month-olds to afford and reciprocate care? What are the steps from infant imitation and simulation of body movements to simulation of mind in conversation partners?

Stein Bråten is founder and chair of the Theory Forum network with some of the world’s leading infancy, primate and brain researchers who have contributed to his edited volumes for Cambridge University Press (1998) and John Benjamins Publishing Company (2007). (Series B)

[Advances in Consciousness Research, 76]  2009.  xxii, 351 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
List of tables
Preface (with acknowledgments)
Part I. Background for questions and findings inviting a paradigm shift
Chapter 1 From the last century history of ideas on children’s nature and intersubjectivity
Chapter 2 Recent related findings making a difference: Mirror neurons and participant perception
Chapter 3 Introduction to child’s steps to speech in ontogeny and questions about cultural evolution
Part II. On the origin of (pre)speech and efficient infant learners
Chapter 4 On language evolution and imitative learning: What can computer simulations tell us?
Chapter 5 On cultural evolution of mother-centred learning: Comparing humans and chimpanzees
Chapter 6 On prosocial behaviour in adult apes and young children: Roots of genuine altruism?
Part III. Intersubjective steps to speech and mind-reading in ontogeny
Chapter 7 From newborns’ imitation: On primary intersubjectivity and perturbations
Chapter 8 From object-oriented joint attention and other-centred infant learning
Chapter 9 On children in conversation and in self-dialogue
Chapter 10 When conversation partners become virtual co-authors of what the other is saying
Chapter 11 When the intersubjective mirror has been biologically broken: The autistic spectrum
Chapter 12 The intersubjective steps in retrospect and guidance, and prospects for further research
Author index
Subject index
“Stein Bråten recounts a startling idea that has become an inspiring theory of how we know one another and speak. When studying simulations of language, it came to him that several people discussing a problem could only communicate if each could somehow 'be' the other, participating in their experience as a 'virtual other'. A lifetime later, with original photographs and drawings showing his children and grandchildren 'being other people', and after hours comparing very young chimpanzees' 'mother-centered learning' in a Norwegian zoo, he develops his theory, now given powerful support from the neuroscience of how intentions pass immediately between brains. He gives us a masterly review of a revolution in the philosophy of personhood, of discoveries in infant imitation, of research on language as culture, on the nature of sympathy, altruism and alienation, and of the detachment of self and other in autism. This book has important implications for education, therapy and other fields of practice and research.”
“In one of the most detailed and erudite treatises today, Stein Bråten explains how we relate to each other driven by evolutionarily ancient impulses. Instead of the traditional focus on human intelligence, Stein Bråten stresses the body and how it is moved by other bodies. A very compelling account of how we came to be such incredibly social primates.”
“Stein Bråten's last book provides an incredibly rich and original perspective on the evolution and development of infants' (pre)verbal intersubjectivity. Bråten beautifully masters the most relevant literature in Philosophy, Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience and Computer Science guiding the reader in a fascinating journey. A must read for everyone interested to learn how the human mind develops.”
“In his insightful analysis of the history of child development, Stein Bråten identifies a major choice-point in the 1920s: was the child to be thought of as naturally social, born with others in mind, or as naturally egocentric? Given the potent influence of Freud and Piaget, it was the egocentric child that dominated research for many decades. Increasingly, however, research in child psychology, in neuroscience and in comparative primatology, has underlined the early attunement that the human infant displays towards the gestures and actions of other people. Stein Bråten offers a wide-ranging analysis of these convergent research findings and uses them to offer a fresh analysis of the course of social development in the child.”
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Subjects & Metadata

Consciousness Research

Consciousness research
BIC Subject: CFD – Psycholinguistics
BISAC Subject: PSY039000 – PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2009018218 | Marc record