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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need is love (and neurobiology), 22 May 2011
This review is from: The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are (Paperback)
The hardback and paperback editions of this book have different subtitles:

Paperback: "How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are"

Hardback: "Towards a neurobiology of interpersonal experience"

These subtitles tell you a lot more about the book than the title does alone. It's not really about developmental psychology, it's about relationships between people and how these affect the functioning of the brain. The hardback's subtitle also makes it clear that this book uses a lot of big words.

So what do relationships have to do with anything? Siegel gives us a detailed introduction to research into what psychologists call "attachment" and (to quote Alison Gopnik) everyone else calls "love". Siegel makes the point that secure attachment requires good two-way emotional communication between child and caregiver, and discusses the impact that attachment relationships have on children's emotions and their capacity to regulate their own emotions. Emotion, Siegel explains, is central to everything the brain does, and the brain's ability to regulate and respond flexibly to its own emotions is an important part of proper mental functioning.

The great strength of this book is the way that it integrates seemingly quite different things (memory, emotions, relationships, self-regulation, and a hefty dose of neurobiology) and does it in a way that makes sense. It is not an easy read, but it is well worth it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deep, 19 Sep 2012
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Glyn (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are (Paperback)
I'm still working my way through this book as it's quite deep and I'm not really up to understanding it all. I like it's thoroughness (is that the correct word?) and while I may not be able to follow all the reasoning, I like to know the end result, which anyone can follow. It's a book you can really get your teeth into.
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