The Mother-Infant Interaction as a Regulator of Infant Physiology and Behavior

  • Myron A. Hofer


Parents and young are held together by some aspects of their interaction and tend to be in conflict over others. Resources are exchanged, shared, exploited, and given with apparent pleasure by one to the other. In addition, there is mounting evidence that this symbiosis involves an unexpected modification of the homeostatic organization of the infant, so that the regulation of the infant’s mileu intérieur is partially delegated to processes within the relationship with its mother. In this way, the individual homeostatic organization of the infant is partially subordinated to the organization of the symbiosis during early postnatal development. We are familiar with such a state of affairs during the intrauterine period of mammals in the form of the placental circulation, but we do not ordinarily think of the parent-young interaction serving such purposes.


Rest Heart Rate Psychosomatic Medicine Behavioral Responsiveness Maternal Separation Cardiac Rate 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Myron A. Hofer
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of MedicineMontefiore Hospital and Medical CenterBronxUSA

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