The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation

Overview

A collection of groundbreaking research by a leading figure in neuroscience.
This book compiles, for the first time, Stephen W. Porges’s decades of research. A leading expert in developmental psychophysiology and developmental behavioral neuroscience, Porges is the mind behind the groundbreaking Polyvagal Theory, which has startling implications for the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, and autism. Adopted by clinicians around the world, the Polyvagal Theory has provided...

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The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology)

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Overview

A collection of groundbreaking research by a leading figure in neuroscience.
This book compiles, for the first time, Stephen W. Porges’s decades of research. A leading expert in developmental psychophysiology and developmental behavioral neuroscience, Porges is the mind behind the groundbreaking Polyvagal Theory, which has startling implications for the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, and autism. Adopted by clinicians around the world, the Polyvagal Theory has provided exciting new insights into the way our autonomic nervous system unconsciously mediates social engagement, trust, and intimacy.

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Editorial Reviews

PsycCritiques
“Stephen Porges has been at the forefront of the investigation of the interplay between neurophysiological processes and developmental status.... It is with The Polyvagal Theory that Porges now presents, in a well-delineated and articulated volume, a highly testable set of hypotheses regarding how the human (and more broadly, mammalian) nervous system has evolved to promote affective regulation and social interaction.... I commend Porges on this effort. Substantial research across a significant career has been well considered and integrated into a quite engaging and stimulating model regarding the relationship between the heart and the brain.”
Journal of Canadian Academic Child Adolescent Psychiatry
“The Polyvagal Theory gives a thorough overview of Sephen Porges' research and theoretical contribution to science. . . . [A]n important foundational book. . . . Porges' contribution to this body of knowledge is considerable.”
Norman Doidge
“[O]ne of the most important books written on the nervous system in the last fifty years. Porges’s ambitious, meticulous, synthetic theory provides a missing link between mind and the nervous system. It also helps explain, in fine detail, how our individual nervous systems influence, and are influenced by, our interactions with others. Suddenly we understand things novelists have described for centuries: how it is that a facial expression, a gesture, a certain tone of voice, can trigger a radical mental reorganization, and lead to engagment, and how our mental and nervous system states shift. Porges’s studies and his theory of the social vagus represents a major advance in human knowledge, and is already improving the practice psychotherapy and mind-body medicine.”
Paul Ekman
“A truly revolutionary perspective on human nature, Porges challenges current theory, illuminates old findings so that we see them differently, and raises dozens of questions for new scientific research. The reach is broad, the depth astounding.”
Daniel J. Siegel
“Soak in the wisdom of this fabulous book and you'll see the role of the body's response to our social interactions in a whole new light. The Polyvagal Theory is a profoundly important contribution to our understanding of how we connect with others through the regulation of our own basic physiological state....Read on and understand our brains, our minds, and our relationships in a rich and extremely helpful way!”
Peter A. Levine
“The Polyvagal Theory is at the leading edge of psychosomatic medicine and body-mind therapies. It is a vital contribution to scientifically-informed clinical practice. Psychologists, analysts, physicians, bodyworkers, and educators are provided with an essential map to help guide them in tracking the psychophysiological states of their clients, discern where they are ‘stuck,’ and help them to heal and move forward in life. Dr. Porges’s great contribution is now compiled in this one astounding comprehensive volume. It is a must-read for clinicians and psychobiological researchers.”
Journal of Unified Psychotherapy and Clinical Science
“[C]hallenges professionals who interact therapeutically, educationally, clinically or even socially with vulnerable populations to share knowledge and work across our specific disciplines, to prevent, identify and treat mental illness.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393707007
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/25/2011
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 213,181
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen W. Porges, PhD, teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is author of the 2011 Norton book The Polyvagal Theory.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword Bessel A. van der Kolk xi

Introduction: Why Is There a Polyvagal Theory? 1

Part I Theoretical Principles

1 Neuroception: A Subconscious System for Detecting Threat and Safety 11

2 Orienting in a Defensive World: Mammalian Modifications of Our Evolutionary Heritage. A Polyvagal Theory 20

3 The Polyvagal Theory: New Insights into Adaptive Reactions of the Autonomic Nervous System 52

Part II Biobehavioral Regulation During Early Development

4 Vagal Tone: A Physiological Marker of Stress Vulnerability 63

5 The Infant's Sixth Sense: Awareness and Regulation of Bodily Processes 75

6 Physiological Regulation in High-Risk Infants: A Model for Assessment and Potential Intervention 83

7 Infant Regulation of the Vagal "Brake" Predicts ChildBehavior Problems: A Psychobiological Model of Social Behavior 102

8 The Early Development of the Autonomic Nervous System Provides a Neural Platform for Social Behavior 118

Part III Social Communication and Relationships

9 Vagal Tone and the Physiological Regulation of Emotion 133

10 Emotion: An Evolutionary By-Product of the Neural Regulation of the Autonomic Nervous System 151

11 Love: An Emergent Property of the Mammalian Autonomic Nervous System 167

12 Social Engagement and Attachment: A Phylogenetic Perspective 186

13 The Polyvagal Hypothesis: Common Mechanisms Mediating Autonomic Regulation, Vocalizations, and Listening 202

Part IV Therapeutic and Clinical Perspectives

14 The Vagus: A Mediator of Behavioral and Physiological Features Associated With Autism 217

15 Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Regulation 226

16 Abuse History Is Related to Autonomic Regulation 238

17 Music Therapy, Trauma, and the Polyvagal Theory 246

Part V Social Behavior and Health

18 Reciprocal Influences Between Body and Brain in the Perception and Expression of Affect 257

19 Neurobiology and Evolution: Mechanisms, Mediators, and Adaptive Consequences of Caregiving 281

Epilogue 297

Credits 299

References 303

Index 331

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