activities could/should carry perspectival and symbolic poten-
It is still hard to reconcile cognitive, socio-emotional, visual,
and behavioral approaches to set a frame, but instead of assum-
ing that undifferentiated means-ends actions are just repeated
behavioral patterns seeking regulation, or at best “circular be-
haviors” for the child’s amusement, we could rather better look
at those “intermediate” activities that by experience unfolding
in time set a background (emerging flow mode) that contributes
to the emergence of intentionality in means-end activities. As
such, they facilitate the gradual emergence of the “becoming
fully embodied”, perspectival self, which is germinal to sym-
bolic/representational development (Hobson, 1993).
That is, mean-ends activities when reach optimal states (see
flow) function as a “morphosyntactic” field that provides chil-
dren with self-coherence and the experience of the body as a
possible multimodal object—a coordinated but also gradually
differentiated outside and inside in a psychological sense (Sta-
matopoulou, 2011). It is this embodied/experiential quality of
the schematizing processes (form-building or schematized em-
bodiment) of flow that operate in a regulatory, directive manner
on both sides, which ultimately binds together the vehicular
form (production/symbol) to its embodied matrix (formative
action) and gives self-referential meaning to it (Werner & Kap-
lan, 1963). This also means an advanced abstraction of the body
schema signified by his intentional control of the interplay be-
tween these two tightly coupled facets (formative action-means
and production-ends), which initiates a distancing—a decoup-
ling between them. This act might model agentivity at a suffi-
cient and necessary level for initiating symbol formation, that
grounds the action’s significance and give rise to the “significa-
tion” of the production/form.
Thus, background positive affectivity that steams from flow
dynamic experiences could provide the backdrop against
which actions, perceptions, (inter)personal expressive/commu-
nicative acts, and symbols/mental products are formulated.
Prospective developmental research is required to understand
the nature of the background positive affectivity of flow ex-
periences and its transformation to this intermediate motiva-
tional mode that accommodates temporal dynamics of ongoing
activities. Yet, this is the bottom line that sets the base for the
emergence of this motivational frame that allows playfulness
through the flow mode which is also linked to the emergence of
consciousness in infancy (Fogel et al., 2002, call this “creative
frame” and refer to Csiksentmihalyi, 1990; Fischer & Connel,
2003, adopt the same approach). In fact, we are in need of fur-
ther developmental research on the reciprocal relationships of
the motivational, emotional and cognitive components of flow
experience, since we know little about its role regarding sym-
bolic functioning and its contribution to the consolidation of the
self as agent.
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