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She smiles with pleasure at being touched, unless she has a tactile sensitivity. ” Eight-month-olds can even express defiance, which they often do by biting or butting their heads, because they have better control over their mouths, heads, and necks than over their arms and hands. When the caregiver fails to respond to the baby’s signal, we have observed that the baby’s affective-thematic inclinations may fail to become organized at this developmental level. That is, the baby’s feelings do not become differentiated from his caregiver’s but remain synchronous, as in the attachment phase, or shift from synchronicity to a more random quality.

We call this the dual coding of experience. Humans begin this coupling of phenomena and feelings at the very beginning of life. Infants only days old react to sensations emotionally, preferring the sound and smell of their mothers, for example, to all other voices and scents. They suck more vigorously when offered sweet liquids. By 4 months of age, a child can react with fear to the sight or voice of particular persons who have scared him. In order to understand how and why this dual coding varies from infant to infant, we must first consider the infant’s organization of sensory experience.

Temperamental differences have been shown to influence children’s intrapsychic development and ways of relating to others (Campos et al. 1989). Temperamental qualities characterized as “difficult,” for example, have been linked to later psychopathology (Thomas and Chess 1984). (An infant with a difficult temperament has irregular body functions, unusually intense reactions, a tendency to withdraw from new situations, a generally negative mood, and a tendency to adapt slowly to change [Thomas et al.

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