Subjectivity, Intentionality, and the Emergence of Reality Testing in Early Infancy
AbstractThe peek-a-boo behavior of a young infant is used to illustrate early processes of intentionality and reality testing. Based on the observations made in this study, as well as findings from similar studies of face-to-face behavior in infants, a general paradigm of cyclical engagement-disengagement of objects on the part of infants is described and discussed. Observations of the transfer of engagement-disengagement behavior on the part of the infant from oral to visual modalities are presented. The observations are discussed from a psychoanalytic object-relational standpoint with integrations of cognitive theory. Implications for an emerging subjectivity in the infant are briefly addressed.