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The origins of consciousness and its effect on emotional development

Dr. Michael Lewis

Thursday, October 23, 2003, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Institute for the Study of Child Development

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October 23, 2003 at 12:00 p.m.

Psychology Room 101, Busch Campus

Dr. Michael Lewis

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Institute for the Study of Child Development

The origins of consciousness and its effect on emotional development

I talk about several issues in regard to self and consciousness. I do so
from a develomental perspective, since such a perspective may provide a
framework to help understand consciousness as seen in the adult human.
Briefly, the two processes I will call the 'machinery of the self' and the
mental state of the 'idea of me' develop over the first two years of the
child's life. Moreover, and perhaps of equal importance is the fact that
the development of consciousness (the 'idea of me') provides the
scaffolding for the development of the child's social and emotional
development and is the first step in the child's development of other
mental states, which provide the underpinning of a theory of mind. I will
first explore what a self is and what it is not; then I will present a
developmental model that provides a way of measuring early the 'idea of
me' or consciousness. Having shown how to measure this mental state, I
will show how it has an impact on the child's emotional and social life.

Dr. Michael Lewis