Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To zoom in or out on PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Are you having difficulty reading an article due its font size? In order to make the content on PEP-Web larger (zoom in), press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the plus sign (+). Press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the minus sign (-) to make the content smaller (zoom out). To go back to 100% size (normal size), press Ctrl (⌘Command on the Mac) + 0 (the number 0).

Another way on Windows: Hold the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel up or down to zoom in and out (respectively) of the webpage. Laptop users may use two fingers and separate them or bring them together while pressing the mouse track pad.

Safari users: You can also improve the readability of you browser when using Safari, with the Reader Mode: Go to PEP-Web. Right-click the URL box and select Settings for This Website, or go to Safari > Settings for This Website. A large pop-up will appear underneath the URL box. Look for the header that reads, “When visiting this website.” If you want Reader mode to always work on this site, check the box for “Use Reader when available.”

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Esman, A.H. (1983). The "Stimulus Barrier"—A Review and Reconsideration. Psychoanal. St. Child, 38:193-207.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 38:193-207

The "Stimulus Barrier"—A Review and Reconsideration

Arron H. Esman, M.D.

FREUD'S CONCEPT OF THE "PROTECTIVE SHIELD AGAINST stimuli" (Reizschutz) has long been the object of considerable interest on the part of developmental psychologists and psychoanalysts. It seems germane to the concerns both of those who wish to study the effect of traumatic events on personality development and neurosogenesis and of those whose focus is on normative infant development and early interaction patterns. There have been a number of systematic reviews in the past (Benjamin, 1965); (Martin, 1968); (Gediman, 1971), but, apart from passing consideration by Shapiro and Stern (1980), none that has considered the concept in the light of those recent studies of infant behavior which have demonstrated a high level of sensory receptiveness in the newborn. In this essay I shall therefore attempt just such a review, seeking to place the stimulus barrier concept in a modern framework and to assess its relevance to current views of early development.


As noted, a number of investigators have reviewed the literature on the subject of the protective shield; I shall therefore cite here only the most salient references in sketching the historical progression of the concept as it has evolved since Freud introduced it in Beyond the Pleasure Principle(1920).

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.