Until comparatively recently it was thought that the newborn infant was a primitive organism, not much more than a bundle of reflexes designed to ensure the creature’s survival-the cry to summon maternal care, the rooting to seek the nipple, the suck and swallow to take in food. The newborn infant was presumed not to be particularly aware of its surroundings, or to be much affected by the particular nature and quality of its care (extremes of neglect or inappropriate handling excepted). During the past twenty years, however, there has been a dramatic advance in the whole field of inquiry into infant development, and in the study of early communication between infants and their caretakers. This has been partly due to the advent of video-recording, allowing the behaviour of adults and babies to be captured on film and then analysed frame by frame in terms of the sequences of events that occur between them. The results of these studies have radically changed earlier concepts of young babies. Just how important these discoveries will prove is only now beginning to be understood; without doubt we shall be forced to revise and redirect enormous areas of our thinking about the development of personality and the growth of human relationships.