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For newborns it is essential for survival,

Temple Mount + Intihuatana, Machu Picchu, Peru
Temple Mount + Intihuatana, Machu Picchu, Peru


if they are not capable of acting themselves, then at least to understand those individuals who can act i.e. first to understand the mother and her actions and then later, if possible, to be able to predict her intentions i.e. to recognise her intentions and to behave in such a way that the desired care behaviour is achieved.

Likewise, mothers learn to interpret the behaviour of their newborn children and to recognise their children’s intentions and wishes. Here is the place where mentalisation first emerged and further levels of intentionality were tested, because they were absolutely necessary for the infant survival.

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