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Psychobiology of Attachment: BBS Call for Commentators

Stevan Harnad harnad at PRINCETON.EDU
Sun Nov 3 18:57:01 EST 1991

[Apologies if this message reaches you more than once; it has been posted
to several spoecialty lists, some of which have overlapping subscriberships.]

Below is the abstract of a forthcoming target article to appear in
Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS), an international, interdisciplinary
journal that provides Open Peer Commentary on important and
controversial current research in the biobehavioral and cognitive
sciences. Commentators must be current BBS Associates or nominated by a
current BBS Associate. To be considered as a commentator on this
article, to suggest other appropriate commentators, or for information
about how to become a BBS Associate, please send email to:

harnad at clarity.princeton.edu  or harnad at pucc.bitnet        or write to:
BBS, 20 Nassau Street, #240, Princeton NJ 08542  [tel: 609-921-7771]

To help us put together a balanced list of commentators, please give some
indication of the aspects of the topic on which you would bring your
areas of expertise to bear if you were selected as a commentator. An
electronic draft of the full text is available for inspection by anonymous
ftp according to the instructions that follow after the abstract.

            A Psychobiological Theory of Attachment

		Gary W. Kraemer
		University of Wisconsin
		Harlow Primate Laboratory
		Madison, WI 53715

ABSTRACT: This article describes a neurobiological basis for the "first
attachment" of the infant to its caretaker. The primate infant normally
internalizes a neurobiological "image" of the behavioral and emotional
characteristics of its caregiver that later regulates important
features of its brain function. Current models of sensory-motor
analysis and its relation to pharmacology and emotion suggest that
sensory-motor systems are also habit and memory systems, their
functional status and lability regulated in part by biogenic amine
systems. The intertwined development of neural and social functions can
sometimes go amiss. If the attachment process fails, or if the
caregiver is incompetent, the infant will fail to regulate its social
behavior and may become socially dysfuntional. This helps explain the
developmental psychopathology and later vulnerability to adult
psychopathology that result from disruptions of social attachment.

Keywords: Attachment, Biogenic Amines, Cerebrospinal Fluid, Depression,
Developmental Psychopathology, Helplessness, Primates, Psychosocial
Deprivation, Stress


To help you decide whether you would be an appropriate commentator for
this article, a (nonfinal) draft is retrievable by anonymous ftp from
princeton.edu according to the instructions below (the filename is
bbs.kraemer). Please do not prepare a commentary on this draft. Just
let us know, after having inspected it, what relevant expertise you
feel you would bring to bear on what aspect of the article.

        To retrieve a file by ftp from a Unix/Internet site,
	type either:
ftp princeton.edu
        When you are asked for your login, type:
        For your password, type your real name.
        then change directories with:
cd pub/harnad
        To show the available files, type:
        Next, retrieve the file you want with (for example):
get bbs.kraemer
        When you have the file(s) you want, type:

JANET users can use the Internet file transfer utility at JANET node
UK.AC.FT-RELAY to get BBS files.  Use standard file transfer, setting
the site to be UK.AC.FT-RELAY, the userid as anonymous at edu.princeton,
the password as your own userid, and the remote filename to be the
filename according to Unix conventions (e.g. pub/harnad/bbs.article).
Lower case should be used where indicated, using quotes if necessary to
avoid automatic translation into upper case.

        The above cannot be done form Bitnet directly, but there
        is a fileserver called bitftp at pucc.bitnet that will do
        it for you. Send it the one line message
        for instructions (which will be similar to the above,
        but will be in the form of a series of lines in an
        email message that bitftp will then execute for you).

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