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The case of Lance seems to show all the signs of a development characterized by a hypertrophy of the sensory area of development, to the detriment of the oral area. 28 ON IMITATION So far we have seen an example of primitive imitation and one of primitive introjection in dreams and also two examples of pathological imitations in infancy due to the imbalance in an absolute and relative sense between oral gratifications and frustrations in the first months of life. It is to be expected that infantile psychosis should show us the most serious occurrences.

Thus the compensation mechanism probably represents the prototype of a series of mechanisms and processes successively used to deal with aggression. As usually happens in development, the emergence of the process of fusion does not nullify the pre-existing compensation mechanism, so that the latter remains distinct in the later psychical organization, with both normal and pathological functional expressions. However, there are still other connections which must be considered. What seems to be a contradiction between the quantitative phenomena of pleasure and unpleasure could in fact be explained by a functional contraposition between the two different energies.

The following step in development, however, seems to be represented by the first assimilations of imitations or introjections relative to partial or fragmentary realities. The maturational development of perceptive and mnemonic functions has certainly a determining role in this step, but other factors also intervene, connected with the characteristics of the relationship. I shall not enter here into the metapsychological problems relative to this passage. I shall limit myself to saying that the internalization of reality involves a quantitative and a qualitative modification of the object cathexes so that an external reality, gradually recognized as separate from self, and an internal part of the ego, more stable and separate from non-ego, correspond to the accumulation of the imitations and the introjections assimilated in a realistic way.

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