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Peto, A. (1969). Terrifying Eyes—A Visual Superego Forerunner. Psychoanal. St. Child, 24:197-212.

(1969). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 24:197-212

Terrifying Eyes—A Visual Superego Forerunner

Andrew Peto, M.D.


I have attempted to blend into a meaningful genetic sequence clinical and theoretical material from a variety of observations and speculations. I have shown that a special type of dream, when it appears at a decisive phase of the transference neurosis, represents a crucial re-edition of an earlier ego-superego struggle. This conflict has its roots, I assume, in one particular element of the superego structure, namely, in its visual origins, as represented by the threatening, red-glowing parental eye. According to my hypothesis, this external traumatic agent becomes internalized into the developing superego and is among other factors at the genetic root of the complex critical internal watching agency of the adult.

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