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The Birth of Intersubjectivity: Psychodynamics, Neurobiology, and the Self (The Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) [Hardcover]

Massimo Ammaniti , Vittorio Gallese

Price: 28.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 Dec 2013 The Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology
This book, the exciting collaboration of a developmental psychoanalyst at the forefront of functional magnetic resonance attachment research and a leading neurobiological researcher on mirror neurons, presents a fresh and innovative look at intersubjectivity from a neurobiological and developmental perspective. Grounding their analysis of intersubjectivity in the newest advances from developmental neuroscience, modern attachment theory, and relational psychoanalysis, Massimo Ammaniti and Vittorio Gallese illustrate how brain development changes simultaneously with relationally induced alterations in the subjectivities of both mother and infant. Ammaniti and Gallese combine extensive current interdisciplinary research with in-depth clinical interviews that highlight the expectant mother's changing subjective states and the various typologies of maternal representations. Building on Gallese's seminal work with mirror neurons and embodied simulation theory, the authors construct a model of intersubjectivity that stresses not symbolic representations but intercorporeality from a second-person perspective. Charting the prenatal and perinatal events that serve as the neurobiological foundation for postnatal reciprocal affective communications, they conclude with direct clinical applications of early assessments and interventions, including interventions with pregnant mothers. This volume is essential for clinicians specializing in attachment disorders and relational trauma, child psychotherapists, infant mental health workers, pediatricians, psychoanalysts, and developmental researchers. It combines fascinating new information and illustrative clinical experience to illustrate the early intersubjective origins of our own and our patients' internal worlds.

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The Birth of Intersubjectivity: Psychodynamics, Neurobiology, and the Self (The Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) + The Embodied Analyst: From Freud and Reich to relationality (Relational Perspectives Book Series)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (23 Dec 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393707636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393707632
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.2 x 2.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 378,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The Birth of Intersubjectivity is the most sophisticated, comprehensive, and ambitious book on the subject. With rigor and grace, Ammaniti and Gallese integrate knowledge from cognitive neuroscience, infant mental health, psychoanalysis, genetics, neonatology, and the arts to propose a rich vision of what makes us distinctly human. Bringing a contemporary European perspective to North Americans, this book is indispensable for both clinicians and researchers alike. --Stephen Seligman, DMH, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Infant-Parent Program, University of California, San Francisco; Joint Editor-in-Chief, Psychoanalytic Dialogues

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intersubjectivity: The foundation of being Human 5 Mar 2014
By Wayne - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent summary of the current research in the current state of mother-infant relationship, which they define in the wider context of Intersubjectivity, a very powerful concept in itself, elaborated by their findings and interpretations of the human condition: intersubjective. Ammaniti is a developmental psychoanalyst and Gallese is the leading neurobological researcher on mirror neurons and creator of an "embodied simulation theory" of intersubjectivity. Gallese does well to critique current cognitive neuroscience as reductionistic.

The authors are fair in their presentation of the mirror neuron research: "We do not yet know when and how the mirror mechanism appears. We do not know whether mirror neurons are innate and how they are shaped and modeled during development" (p. 21). They admit there is only "indirect evidence" of the origins of the mirror mechanisim, although neuroscience now stongly confirms the existence and importance of mirror neurons. Controversy remains regarding the role of mirror neurons on the matter of empathy. It appears that the "mirror neuron system becomes truly contributive to adaptive function in not the first, but the second year" (Schore, p. xiii).

"How do humans come to know each other's mind?" (Bruner), what is we-ness, how do we explain the second-person approach to self and other? Combining a developmental psychodynamic and an embodied cognitive neuorscientific approach, Amaniti and Gallese attempt to explain intersubjectivity. This is both their strength and their weakness.

There is a tremendous respect of the psychoanalytic tradition by these authors, which is interestingly not always supported by neuroscience (in areas such as oral/anal/genital stages, etc.), and as identified as early as 1985 by Daniel Stern in his revolutionary "Interpersonal World of the Infant," which is the precursor of these authors's work, and which seriously challenges the tenets of psychoanalysis to the degree that it does not reflect the reality of the mother-child dyad, with significant implications for psychodynamic therapy.

What is new and challenging with these authors is the addition of the mirror neuron discoveries as they impact the implication of the mother-child dyad, the practrice of psychodynamic therapy, and most importantly, the underpinnings of intersubjectivity in general. "Intersubjective processes are like a blueprint underneath every motivational system, and in the case of the attachment system, they are activated when attachment needs emerge" (p. 143). We need grounding in the research of the mother-infant dyad such as these authors have presented in order to stay research grounded and founded on our experience-based origins of intersubjectivity, interpersonal dynamics, intrapersonal dynamics, psychodynamics and the human condition.
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