To the Roots of the Sense of Self: Proposals for a Study on the Emergence of Body Awareness in Early Infancy Through a Deep Learning Method

  • Alfonso Davide Di SarnoEmail author
  • Raffaele Sperandeo
  • Giuseppina Di Leva
  • Irene Fabbricino
  • Enrico Moretto
  • Silvia Dell’Orco
  • Mauro N. Maldonato
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 151)


In the psychological field, the study of the interaction between the caregiver and the child is considered the context of primary development. Observing how infants interact with their mothers, in the first year of their life, has allowed researchers to identify behavioural indicators useful to highlight the crucial role of their synchronisation, within the behavioural and cognitive domain. The aim of this study is to employ a new observational method, mediated by an artificial neural network model, to systematically study the complex bodily gestural interaction between child and caregiver, which concurs in the development of the child’s bodily awareness, and how the quality of early interactions affects the child’s relationship with his body. The first part will deal with qualitative observational methods, their limits and the object of the study; the second part will describe the reference theory; the third part will describe the neural network model, the details of the proposed study and the expected results. We hypothesise that this model could be used for the construction of a tool that could compensate for some of the critical shortcomings that lie within observational methods in the field of psychology.


Human action recognition Convolutional neural network Long short-term memory Mother–infant observation Deep learning Body awareness 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SiPGI—Postgraduate School of Integrated Gestalt PsychotherapyTorre Annunziata, NaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Neuroscience and Reproductive Sciences and OdontostomatologyUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly

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