Publication details [#4659]

Fogel, Alan and Andrea Garvey. 2007. Alive Communication: What Does It Mean to Communicate for Infants. Infant Behavior & Development 30 (2) : 251–257. 7 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Amsterdam: Elsevier


The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical model, based on a dynamic systems perspective and the metaphor of aliveness in communication. Traditional concepts and methods for the study of communication are relatively static and based on the metaphor of signal and response. These traditional methods lend themselves to relatively simplified measures of frequencies and durations, sequences and co-occurrences: a model of objectified communication. The concept of alive communication focuses on the dynamically changing aspects of communication using three related components: coregulation, ordinary variability, and innovation. Like living organisms, alive communication develops over time as it forms dynamically stable patterns. Aliveness can be applied to communication at any age, in any species, between species, in any form including time-delayed practices using written symbols, and with non-living objects. The model provides a tool for evaluating the "life-likeness" of communication with animate and inanimate objects and robotic devices, and for assessing and treating communicative difficulties - in which aliveness is missing - within and between dyads/families.