Throughout the first half of this century the dominant view of the origins of imagination which influenced clinical practice with children was chiefly an extrapolation of Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychosexual stages. Contrasting positions, based on direct childhood observations by Vigotsky, Luria, Wallon, and Piaget were, as yet, not widely known or accepted by American developmentalists and had scarcely begun to be assimilated into child psychotherapeutic work. The model of the human being which prevailed was of a hydraulic energy system with drives such as hunger, thirst, sex, and aggression presumably pressing for overt conscious experience and discharge on what Rappaport termed a “cyclical, appetitive peremptory basis” [1]. The child’s task was to develop a system for delaying and rechanneling these drives and this effort laid the basis for the ego [2]. From psychoanalysis we have gained many insights about human needs, wishes, conflicts, compromise formations, and about our inherent continuity (in the best Darwinian sense) with other animal species. We propose, however, that in the past generation we have moved well beyond such a narrow 93model. Our current conception of human beings presents them as information-processing creatures, seeking continuously to organize and to give meaning to stimuli from the physical and social environment, from their own memory store or from the ongoing machinery of their bodies [3]. Indeed following upon the great insights of Silvan Tomkins [4] and the supportive empirical research of Izard, Ekman, Schwartz and others [5] we view humans as individuals whose differentiated emotional response patterns are closely intertwined with the novelty, complexity and other structural properties of the information they confront from moment to moment.