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Lake, D.A. (1987). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983: The Prerepresentational Self and Its Affective Core. Robert N. Emde. Pp. 165-192.. Psychoanal Q., 56:411.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983: The Prerepresentational Self and Its Affective Core. Robert N. Emde. Pp. 165-192.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:411

Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983: The Prerepresentational Self and Its Affective Core. Robert N. Emde. Pp. 165-192.

David A. Lake

Infants at eighteen months recognize their own images in pictures or mirrors, respond with personal pronouns, and exhibit self-awareness in organization of cognitive tasks. Emde argues for a view of self as process, referring to synthetic functions that predate cognitive self-awareness (the representational self) and continue to develop throughout life. He cites three biological principles that organize early development and are fundamental attributes of all later versions of the self: self-regulation (beginning with the neonate's regulation of state), social-fittedness (self-definition developing in a social matrix and inaugurated during mother-infant eye-to-eye interaction), and affective monitoring between mother and child. Current research points to the centrality of affective experience within an interactive matrix; organization of this experience forms a core experience of self. Perception by the child of the social situation and the caretaker's emotional availability are of great importance; by fifteen months, infants should exhibit a long-developed and coherent affective self.

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Article Citation

Lake, D.A. (1987). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVIII, 1983. Psychoanal. Q., 56:411

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