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Beebe, B. (2014). Myron Hofer's synthesis of evolution and development: A commentary. Neuropsychoanalysis, 16(1):23-28.

(2014). Neuropsychoanalysis, 16(1):23-28


Myron Hofer's synthesis of evolution and development: A commentary

Beatrice Beebe

Myron Hofer's integration of research and theory into a synthesized view of evolution and development is a powerful and elegant achievement. He argues that the epigenetic revolution provides a way to integrate evolution and development, which were considered separate processes for most of the twentieth century. Moreover, Hofer argues that our understanding of the effects of early experience gleaned through animal models provides a new, rich biological underpinning to the psychoanalytic theory of the effects of early experience – a way to re-integrate biology and psychoanalysis. I comment on several topics which directly relate to my own work on mother-infant communication: the role of ethology; Hofer's “hidden maternal regulators” in attachment, and how they can be translated into my work on the origins of attachment; Hofer's use of animal models to conceptualize early human mental development and a similar argument for the origins of human infant procedural representations in the work of Daniel Stern, and in my work with Stern and Lachmann.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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