Journal of Medical & Clinical Research & Reviews


Ontogenesis of Social Interaction: Review of Studies Relevant to the Fetal Social Behavior

Igor Val Danilov.

Two approaches to understanding roots of social behavior – biological universalism and cultural relativism – have been opposing each other for several decades. Numerous studies in different disciplines have been attempting to understand origins of social behavior, studying also fetal movements. This review explores the origins of social interaction, by studying whether embryos inherit some genetic mechanism of social behavior or their social responses are acquired as a result of social interaction. The articles were included in the review as they studied fetal voice recognition, emotion expression, and twin fetuses co-movement. Analyzing these data, the study found no contradictions that prevent the identification of such fetal actions with the notion of social behavior. The existing data on the genetic determination of brain development were discussed and the hypothesis of an innate mechanism of social behavior was questioned. The study found no evidence of a genetic mechanism for social behavior that could link a particular mental state to a specific situation of social reality. However obviously, fetuses may not exhibit social behavior on their own due to a lack of understanding of social reality, and knowledge of the connection between a particular social situation and corresponding social signs. The disadvantage of their cognitive skills in the period of gestation also cannot help them to behave socially. This article supports the core role of social interaction in shaping of social behavior in fetuses and substantiates the assumption that their social behavior emerges from and is guided by mental collaboration with mother.

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