This talk examines the early embodied nature of psychological development in infancy, and the role of the neuromotor system as an active generator of conscious experience made in affective engagement with caring and sensitive social others. The significance of this early embodied agency sheds light on how meaning is co-created between individuals in reciprocal expressive actions that share common rhythm to yield a ‘narrative’ organisation. This narrative structure, evident in social interaction from birth, is ubiquitous in the human time-based arts of poetry, music, drama, and literature. It structures human intelligence, underneath and before verbal language. In autism, new evidence reveals a subtle, but significant disruption to this embodied motor agency in children, from early infancy onwards. It can thwart efficient engagement and lead to autistic symptomatology of emotional dysregulation and social withdrawal. New serious games digital technologies coupled with artificial intelligence can detect these subtle ‘autism motor signatures’ before conventional clinical instruments allow, providing new routes to its early identification, and new understanding of affective engagement for sensitive care, and improved lifelong success.
Jonathan Delafield-Butt is Professor of Child Neurodevelopment and Autism. His work examines the origins of conscious experience and the embodied and emotional foundations of psychological development, with attention to the subtle but significant motor disruption evident in autism spectrum disorder. He took his Ph.D. in Developmental Neurobiology at the University of Edinburgh Medical School before extending to Developmental Psychology advancing intersubjectivity theory in postdoctoral work at the Universities of Edinburgh and Copenhagen. He held scholarships at Harvard University and the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Edinburgh for science-philosophy bridgework in the nature of brain-mind relationship. Delafield-Butt trained pre-clinically in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the Scottish Institute for Human Relations. He is a member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, the International Society for Autism Research, and the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre at Gothenburg.
O seminário será realizado em videoconferência, via Zoom.