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Easson, W.M. (1973). The Earliest Ego Development, Primitive Memory Traces, and the Isakower Phenomenon. Psychoanal Q., 42:60-72.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:60-72

The Earliest Ego Development, Primitive Memory Traces, and the Isakower Phenomenon

William M. Easson, M.D.


The Isakower phenomenon, the memory of the experience of nursing at the breast, is readily recognized. This paper illustrates that this primitive memory trace is being reported more frequently and in a wider range of subjects. It should be possible to investigate other memories around the Isakower experience to discover additional remembered perceptions from the same developmental stage or from an even earlier period of ego development. In this fashion, investigators can gain information about the origin and the growth of the ego nuclei in early infancy.

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