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Body Schema and Body ImageNew Directions$
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Yochai Ataria, Shogo Tanaka, and Shaun Gallagher

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198851721

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198851721.001.0001

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From implicit to explicit body awareness in the first two years of life

From implicit to explicit body awareness in the first two years of life

(p.181) 11 From implicit to explicit body awareness in the first two years of life
Body Schema and Body Image

Philippe Rochat

Sara Valencia Botto

Oxford University Press

What might constitute the awareness of an implicit body schema at the origins of development, and how does it develop to become also the awareness of an explicit body image? Those are the questions driving this chapter. The first part reviews past and more recent empirical research that demonstrates that an implicit body schema is evident from birth and in the first weeks of life. The second part of the chapter goes over a blueprint of cardinal progress in perception and action in relation to both the physical (objects) and social (people) domains. These advancements are presented as the driving force behind the development of a private and public body image emerging from the middle of the second year, as infants begin to manifest self-concept and self-consciousness proper via mirror self-recognition and the use of personal pronouns, as well as social emotions like embarrassment or pride. Lastly, the chapter further elaborates on the emergence of a public body image expressed in the first manifestations of an ‘evaluative audience perception’, or EAP, which was recently documented in 14- to 24-month-old toddlers. This development is construed as indexing the emergence of a public body image, adding to the more primordial and innate body schema that is expressed even in utero. The chapter also speculates that the development of a public body image and associated self-conscious emotions is a major trademark of what it means to be human.

Keywords:   development, body schema, body image, public body image, self-consciousness

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