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An anthropologist ventures into child rearing on the basis of his personal experience with his own children. Dr. Thooris attempts to apply physiologic principles in the every day management of infants and children. He considers the newborn beneath the developmental level of an animal, since the lack of excitability of the hemispheres at birth makes the infant comparable to a decerebrate dog. This is the concept of the absolute infant reduced to several inherited reflexes but deprived of all means of satisfying them. The mother is in the directive position of transforming her absolute infant into a conditioned being. An acquired reflex cannot be stabilized unless it is reenforced by an absolute reflex. As a student of Pavlov the author classifies reflexes as subcortical and cortical. The former are hereditary, few in number, stable and nonfatigable by virtue of their rhythmic character. The latter comprise the reflex of life and
Pédagogie du nourrisson et du premier age. JAMA. 1948;137(8):755. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890420089030