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January 1970

The Prenatal Origin of Behavior.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;22(1):93-94. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01740250095020

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Textbooks of embryology are concerned almost exclusively with the morphogenesis of organ systems, paying little attention to the development of embryonic or fetal reactivity. Dr. Hooker's book, The Prenatal Origin of Behavior, published almost 20 years ago, filled an important gap in our Knowledge. It also opened a new and exciting field of investigation on intrauterine environment and its influence on the behavior and future mental development of the human being, the main subject of today's fetology.

This concise volume is divided into three chapters dealing with (1) fetal activity in the infrahuman vertebrates, (2) the sequence of human fetal activity, and (3) the structural and functional interrelationships in prenatal activity. In the first chapter, the phylogenesis of prenatal behavior is presented in the light of the controversy between two concepts concerning the basic nature of fetal activity. Coghil's concept of total pattern maintains

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