A baby's developing body and brain mirror and reflect, lifelong, the emotional-sensory environment provided by its first primary relationship, that is with its mother. The Origins of Love & Violence take root in this first, primary sensory environment. What we call "affectional bonding" or nurturing, or its absence--very early in life--structures the developing brain to interpret the world and its relationships as peaceful, pleasurable and loving or hostile, painful and violent depending on trust or anxiety experienced in this first relationship.
Sensory Deprivation and the Developing Brain
Rock a Bye Baby
The Time Life documentary "Rock A Bye Baby" describes how the sensory deprivation of normal mothering, touch and movement causes permanent brain abnormalities and pathological violence. The single greatest contribution to understanding the mother-infant separation syndrome was provided by Drs. William Mason and Gershon Berkson in their swinging mother surrogate experiments where the importance of body movement (vestibular-cerebellar simulation) in mother-infant bonding was documented. The infant monkeys reared on the stationary mother surrogate developed all of the abnormalities which isolation-reared monkeys develop – depression, social withdrawal, aversion to touch, stereotypical rocking and chronic toe and penis sucking, self-mutilation and pathological violence as juveniles and adults. The infant monkeys reared on the swinging surrogate mother developed normally with only minor stimulus-seeking behaviors, e.g. thumb-sucking. Depression, social withdrawal and avoidance of touch were absent in the swinging mother surrogate reared infant monkeys.
Child Abuse by James W. Prescott, PhD
In this short television documentary James W. Prescott, PhD, describes the root cause of the violence we experience every day. The absence of nurturing, affectionate touch, movement and play, normal mothering, causes the brain to develop in sometimes pathological ways.