Neuropsychoanalysis

Sources and External Links

Below is a list of articles and  videos on the web which are filled with information on Neuropsychoanalysis.

The Second Coming of Sigmund Freud – Neuroscientists are taking a closer look at his most defining insights

Art and the Limit of Neuroscience – an opinion piece which tackles “Neuroaesthetics” or the project of studying art using the methods of neuroscience

Charlie Rose Brain Series – Charlie Rose and Prof. Eric Kandel explore biology, abnormalities, and diseases of the brain and nervous system with a panel of experts.

Professor Mark Solms, Chair of the IPA Research Committee, talks about psychoanalysis, neuroscience and biology

Prof. Yoram Yovell and Prof. Mark Solms discuss the newly emerging field of Neuropsychoanalysis

Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel remains excited about finding answers to questions about the mind (videoColumbia University article)

What is Neuropsychoanalysis?

Neuropsychoanalysis is the latest branch of Psychology, born from the convergence of Neuroscience (Neurobiology) and Psychoanalysis. The development of modern brain probing devices in the 21st century such as fMRI, biochemical labeling and brain imaging machines, the brainbow, the connectone, EEG and other similar instruments, have spurred countless experiments in the past decade. These studies have led the best psychiatrists-neuroscientists to conclude that “Freud’s psychoanalytic brush strokes of the mind is indeed the template of the mind on which details in psychiatry-psychology can be coherently arranged.”*

The emergence of Neuropsychoanalysis has affirmed the dominating role of the unconscious mind and mental defensive mechanisms which include projection, repression, identification and sublimation. These mechanisms are incorporated to defend against feelings of anxiety that have become uncomfortable, humiliating or shameful. Removed from the ego, experiences may be isolated, but they are never forgotten. They become manifested in relationships and have the ability to both protect and stifle. For instance, repression and denial will make themselves felt sooner or later in some manner or behavior.

The use of sketches and handwritings in psychology is based on these neuropsychoanalytic mechanisms. These propelled the rise of the resurgent justification and validity of projective methods.

According to Dr. Panksepp & Dr. Solms, ‘Neuropsychoanalysis seeks to understand the human mind, especially as it relates to first-person experience. It recognizes the essential role of neuroscience in such quests. However, unlike most branches of neuroscience, it positions mind and brain on an equal footing.’ Dr. Kandel (Nobel Laureat) further stressed that psychoanalysis had an essential part to play in such a legitimate enterprise: ‘As a result of advances in neural science in the last several years, both psychiatry and neural science are in a new and better position for a rapprochement, a rapprochement that would allow the insights of the psychoanalytic perspective to inform the search for a deeper understanding of the biological basis of behavior.’ As a result, many psychoanalysts had taken up the challenge, embracing the scientific method and attempting to put Freudian hypotheses to rigorous test. In conclusion, this rapprochement between psychoanalysis and neuroscience is called ‘a natural alliance’ by Dr. Damasio, and is further celebrated by Dr. LeDoux & Dr. Singer (Nobel winner); that ‘Freud was right on the mark when he described consciousness as the tip of the mental iceberg’. Indeed, Freud’s theory ‘still stands as perhaps the most influential and coherent view of mental activity that we have’ and Nobel Winner Dr. Kandel ” the true framework of the mind”.

*Dr. Eric Kandel (Nobel Laureat), Dr. Joseph LeDoux Dr. Mark Solms, Dr. Helen Mayberg , Dr. Joseph Damasio, Dr. Jaak Panksepp, Dr. Ramachandran, Dr. Singer (Nobel Laureat). et al.