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Fonagy, P. Campbell, C. (2017). What touch can communicate: Commentary on “Mentalizing homeostasis: the social origins of interoceptive inference” by Fotopoulou and Tsakiris. Neuropsychoanalysis, 19(1):39-42.

(2017). Neuropsychoanalysis, 19(1):39-42

What touch can communicate: Commentary on “Mentalizing homeostasis: the social origins of interoceptive inference” by Fotopoulou and Tsakiris

Peter Fonagy and Chloe Campbell

The commentary begins by briefly summarizing some of the key ideas of the target paper and locates them within the context of the theories of attachment and mentalization, emphasizing how the idea of mentalizing homeostasis adds to the richness of these theories, and counters some of their possible weaknesses by reaffirming the highly physical nature and imperatives of early relationships. The authors go on to discuss physical touch as a form of communication, and of meta-communication, and speculate that responsive physical interaction constitutes the infant’s first affirmation of their knowledge of the world as valid, and as such it indicates to the infant the value of opening epistemic trust with trusted caregivers.

[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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