To make events more effective:
1) Action needs to be in a temporal sequence.
2) Action needs to be goal-oriented.
3) Action needs to be repeated.
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Identification: Psychoanalytic and Biological Perspectives
David D. Olds
Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 2006 54: 17
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I will argue that the evolution of primates, particularly cortical expansion, led to a high level of imitative ability, which allowed for new forms of memory. The neurobiologists’ discovery of the mirror
neuron reveals a property of brain whereby it perceives through virtually enacting others’ actions. In infant development a dyadic interchange takes place involving imitations and attunements, so that the infant takes on many characteristics of the parent in the process of internalizing behavior, affects, and communicative skills, including language. We can speculate that there has been an evolution leading to human identification that would involve (1) the evolution of multiple memory systems, in particular procedural memory; (2) mirror neurons developing in mammals; (3) imitation evolving in mammals and increasing in importance in primates; (4) the prolonged plasticity of human childhood, allowing for imitation and attunement; and (5) the advance of mentalism or theory of mind, possibly occurring exclusively in humans. The evolutionar push to imitation and internalization may have social roots beyond their value to the individual, particularly in the transfer of culture.
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What is striking is that perception has more to it than iconic representation. Perception is “being there.” Especially with interpersonal perception and recognition, one does not simply perceive, one becomes. In this model the visible actions and expressions of the other seem to some extent invasive and controlling.
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