Born for Art, and the Joyful Companionship of Fiction

Colwyn Trevarthen

in Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755059
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979479 | DOI:
Born for Art, and the Joyful Companionship of Fiction

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  • Developmental Psychology


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A search for the early modern human infant and mother who enjoyed a long and intense attachment within a family group leads to the conclusion that what was new in the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) was not just the large-brained head that required an early birth or the weak body, but the artful mind that asked for specially sensitive and imaginative care and cooperation. A human infant is born seeking an intimate companion with whom to share creative actions and ideas. The brains of Homo sapiens sapiens change themselves and one another epigenetically while transforming the environment and harvesting its resources. They join their imaginations in synrhythmic displays of social cooperation, making culture. This is passionately emotional intelligence, not just calculatingly cognitive. Its early development needs a secure, loving, and playful family, the essential base for a future industrious community of adults who trust one another and work together.

Keywords: imagination; companionship; family; creativity; culture

Chapter.  7663 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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