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The ontogenesis of narrative: from moving to meaning.

Delafield-Butt JT, Trevarthen C - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: This basic structure is evident before birth and invariant in form throughout life.Serial organization of single, non-verbal actions into complex projects of expressive and explorative sense-making become conventional meanings and explanations with propositional narrative power.Understanding the root of narrative in embodied meaning-making in this way is important for practical work in therapy and education, and for advancing philosophy and neuroscience.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Early Years, School of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde Glasgow, UK.

ABSTRACT
Narrative, the creation of imaginative projects and experiences displayed in expressions of movement and voice, is how human cooperative understanding grows. Human understanding places the character and qualities of objects and events of interest within stories that portray intentions, feelings, and ambitions, and how one cares about them. Understanding the development of narrative is therefore essential for understanding the development of human intelligence, but its early origins are obscure. We identify the origins of narrative in the innate sensorimotor intelligence of a hypermobile human body and trace the ontogenesis of narrative form from its earliest expression in movement. Intelligent planning, with self-awareness, is evident in the gestures and motor expressions of the mid-gestation fetus. After birth, single intentions become serially organized into projects with increasingly ambitious distal goals and social meaning. The infant imitates others' actions in shared tasks, learns conventional cultural practices, and adapts his own inventions, then names topics of interest. Through every stage, in simple intentions of fetal movement, in social imitations of the neonate, in early proto-conversations and collaborative play of infants and talk of children and adults, the narrative form of creative agency with it four-part structure of 'introduction,' 'development,' 'climax,' and 'resolution' is present. We conclude that shared rituals of culture and practical techniques develop from a fundamental psycho-motor structure with its basic, vital impulses for action and generative process of thought-in-action that express an integrated, imaginative, and sociable Self. This basic structure is evident before birth and invariant in form throughout life. Serial organization of single, non-verbal actions into complex projects of expressive and explorative sense-making become conventional meanings and explanations with propositional narrative power. Understanding the root of narrative in embodied meaning-making in this way is important for practical work in therapy and education, and for advancing philosophy and neuroscience.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Sounds recorded through the 30 s dialog with Baby B, and his arm movements, smiles and attempts to vocalize. Along the top, the locations of the photographs shown in Figure 3 are shown by letters A–P. Below is a transcription of the mother’s speech and vocal expression. The utterances are numbered and identified in the pitch plot above. The baby’s vocalisations are indicated with a circle, they do not always register on the pitch plot. Photographs N, O, and P, and utterances 13, 14, and 15 cover the final period when the infant is not engaged with his mother’s expressions, and her speech indicates she is provoking him, or joking about his actions. He repeats the arm movements he made at the ‘climax,’ as a ‘coda.’
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Figure 4: Sounds recorded through the 30 s dialog with Baby B, and his arm movements, smiles and attempts to vocalize. Along the top, the locations of the photographs shown in Figure 3 are shown by letters A–P. Below is a transcription of the mother’s speech and vocal expression. The utterances are numbered and identified in the pitch plot above. The baby’s vocalisations are indicated with a circle, they do not always register on the pitch plot. Photographs N, O, and P, and utterances 13, 14, and 15 cover the final period when the infant is not engaged with his mother’s expressions, and her speech indicates she is provoking him, or joking about his actions. He repeats the arm movements he made at the ‘climax,’ as a ‘coda.’

Mentions: B was lying on a quilted tabletop with his mother seated in a chair at his feet, leaning over him. An overhead video camera provided a vertical view of B (Figure 3), and a second camera recorded a frontal view of his mother. Their vocalizations (Figure 4) were recorded by two microphones. B’s arm movements were tracked by attaching a reflective marker to his wrists. A six-camera motion capture system (Proreflex 500, Qualisys) recorded in 3D the coordinate position of the markers 500 times per second, with a spatial resolution of less than 1 mm. Displacements of his left and right wrists were recorded as tangential velocity or speed, disregarding direction of travel (Figure 4).


The ontogenesis of narrative: from moving to meaning.

Delafield-Butt JT, Trevarthen C - Front Psychol (2015)

Sounds recorded through the 30 s dialog with Baby B, and his arm movements, smiles and attempts to vocalize. Along the top, the locations of the photographs shown in Figure 3 are shown by letters A–P. Below is a transcription of the mother’s speech and vocal expression. The utterances are numbered and identified in the pitch plot above. The baby’s vocalisations are indicated with a circle, they do not always register on the pitch plot. Photographs N, O, and P, and utterances 13, 14, and 15 cover the final period when the infant is not engaged with his mother’s expressions, and her speech indicates she is provoking him, or joking about his actions. He repeats the arm movements he made at the ‘climax,’ as a ‘coda.’
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4557105&req=5

Figure 4: Sounds recorded through the 30 s dialog with Baby B, and his arm movements, smiles and attempts to vocalize. Along the top, the locations of the photographs shown in Figure 3 are shown by letters A–P. Below is a transcription of the mother’s speech and vocal expression. The utterances are numbered and identified in the pitch plot above. The baby’s vocalisations are indicated with a circle, they do not always register on the pitch plot. Photographs N, O, and P, and utterances 13, 14, and 15 cover the final period when the infant is not engaged with his mother’s expressions, and her speech indicates she is provoking him, or joking about his actions. He repeats the arm movements he made at the ‘climax,’ as a ‘coda.’
Mentions: B was lying on a quilted tabletop with his mother seated in a chair at his feet, leaning over him. An overhead video camera provided a vertical view of B (Figure 3), and a second camera recorded a frontal view of his mother. Their vocalizations (Figure 4) were recorded by two microphones. B’s arm movements were tracked by attaching a reflective marker to his wrists. A six-camera motion capture system (Proreflex 500, Qualisys) recorded in 3D the coordinate position of the markers 500 times per second, with a spatial resolution of less than 1 mm. Displacements of his left and right wrists were recorded as tangential velocity or speed, disregarding direction of travel (Figure 4).

Bottom Line: This basic structure is evident before birth and invariant in form throughout life.Serial organization of single, non-verbal actions into complex projects of expressive and explorative sense-making become conventional meanings and explanations with propositional narrative power.Understanding the root of narrative in embodied meaning-making in this way is important for practical work in therapy and education, and for advancing philosophy and neuroscience.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Early Years, School of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde Glasgow, UK.

ABSTRACT
Narrative, the creation of imaginative projects and experiences displayed in expressions of movement and voice, is how human cooperative understanding grows. Human understanding places the character and qualities of objects and events of interest within stories that portray intentions, feelings, and ambitions, and how one cares about them. Understanding the development of narrative is therefore essential for understanding the development of human intelligence, but its early origins are obscure. We identify the origins of narrative in the innate sensorimotor intelligence of a hypermobile human body and trace the ontogenesis of narrative form from its earliest expression in movement. Intelligent planning, with self-awareness, is evident in the gestures and motor expressions of the mid-gestation fetus. After birth, single intentions become serially organized into projects with increasingly ambitious distal goals and social meaning. The infant imitates others' actions in shared tasks, learns conventional cultural practices, and adapts his own inventions, then names topics of interest. Through every stage, in simple intentions of fetal movement, in social imitations of the neonate, in early proto-conversations and collaborative play of infants and talk of children and adults, the narrative form of creative agency with it four-part structure of 'introduction,' 'development,' 'climax,' and 'resolution' is present. We conclude that shared rituals of culture and practical techniques develop from a fundamental psycho-motor structure with its basic, vital impulses for action and generative process of thought-in-action that express an integrated, imaginative, and sociable Self. This basic structure is evident before birth and invariant in form throughout life. Serial organization of single, non-verbal actions into complex projects of expressive and explorative sense-making become conventional meanings and explanations with propositional narrative power. Understanding the root of narrative in embodied meaning-making in this way is important for practical work in therapy and education, and for advancing philosophy and neuroscience.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus