chapter  3
Shame
Affect and emotion
Pages 19

The shame experience of individuals within certain social contexts can have both similar and unique expression. In the interaction of the individual with society, notions of shame take on a power beyond the personal and private. Shame exposes that which is most intimate about the embodied self, but it also exposes sets of values and levels of interest. Drawing on data from neuroscience, evolutionary and socio-biology, developmental psychology, developmental psychoanalysis and infant psychiatry, Allan Schore traces the development of shame as an innate biological affect that is integral to infant socialisation and neurological development and intrinsic to attachment. Human brain and nervous system development is programmed for and reliant on positive contact. The fine-tuning of the developing brain happens, Allan Schore says, as a result of socioemotional interchanges with a significant adult brain at critical periods in infancy. These interactions directly influence the formation of brain structures that regulate future socioemotional functioning.