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The Cradle of Thought: Exploring the Origins of Thinking Paperback – Unabridged, 7 May 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprints edition (1 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330488287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330488280
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

... a charming and gentle book... -- The Sunday Telegraph, March 24 2002

A consummate story-teller… This book rates with the very best of popular scientific writing -- Jeremy Holmes, The Royal College of Psychiatrists

Admirably clear, broadly persuasive …packed with appealing anecdotes about the loveable things kids do and say -- Robert Hanks , The Daily Telegraph

An outstanding scholar and passionate about his subject -- Simon Baron-Cohen, Nature

Any parent reading his account will recognise that it makes sense -- Steven Rose, Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A riveting insight from a renowned pyschologist into how infants learn to think

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By michael fitzpatrick on 26 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
It was when our son refused to wave bye-bye that we began to realise something was wrong. Waving reveals a capacity to be affected by and respond to the action of another person. One of the most basic acts of imitation, it shows that an infant is becoming aware of the distinction between himself and others. As we - and many other parents - have discovered, the failure to wave bye-bye is an ominous early sign of autism.
Imitation - interacting at an emotional level - is, as Peter Hobson points out in this remarkable book, crucial to the development of thought and language. His great achievement is to explain this development as a process that depends on emotional engagement between infant and parent. He also clarifies how the diverse features of autism arise from a basic failure of emotional connectedness.
Peter Hobson, an experimental clinical psychologist and a psychotherapist, focuses on the social dimension of infant development - and its deficit in autism. This is the great strength of his approach, particularly given the neglect of interpersonal factors in current fashions for neurological, biochemical and autoimmune theories.
The Cradle of Thought brings together insights from studies of autistic and non-autistic children, of children of mothers with psychiatric problems, of children with congenital blindness and Romanian orphans. It even draws on studies of chimpanzees to clarify the distinctive character of human development.
The result is a profound and inspiring book that will be of great interest to families of autistic children. It is a particular pleasure to read a rigorously scientific study of autism that does not even mention PET scans, amino acids or immunoglobulins.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John Harpur on 25 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
First of all, I am not commenting from a position of expertise in the area of early child development. My own research interests in elearning and autism indirectly led me to purchase this book. I also had the great pleasure of witnessing a presentation by Peter Hobson at IMFAR 2002. The book is exceptionally well written, and I am not bandying around superlatives for fashion's sake. The prose is clear and coherent. Hobson assembles background material, his own work and experiments with consumate ease. Insights into the effects of early bonding and secure attachment tumble ardently from the pages. While many of these results (revelations to me) may be known within the child development community already, this books draws them together in a uniquely admirable way.
I was particularly intrigued by Hobson's work on the relationship between maternal feelings of security (strong internal frame of reference) and childrens' IQ. The theory here is that insecure mothers have failed to integrate their childhood experiences. The result is a set of children with depressed IQs. Hobson tease out the work here ingeniously.
The book makes many noteworthy arguments. In the area of autism, Hobson expands upon his theoretical work that autism shows a failure in person perception with all that means for imitation, etc. Contra the Theory of Mind interpretation of autism, Hobson argues that the impairment arises out of intersubjectivity deficiencies. He draws on emerging research on Rumanian orphans in support of his position.
There is so much that is challenging, stimulating and exquisitely erudite in this book, that a short review must do it a serious injustice. However, if you are interested in intellectual currents of the day then this book deserves a very prominent place in your library. You will not be disappointed.
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By judith verity on 15 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Food for thought; an explanation of the delicacy of the development of the human brain; an insight into the various levels of Autism and a veil lifted on our own thinking; for practitioners of psychotherapy the book gives another perspective on transference and countertransference and our relationship with others.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donna on 21 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this e-book as was required to read on some of the theories of autism as part of my post grad certificate. I found the book easy to read, full of information and explained some of the theories behind why some individuals on the autism spectrum are the way they are.
I had been worried the book would be too scientific or even dull to read but this was not so.
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By Ena Mensah on 10 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good condition
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