Neuro-psychoanalysis

Neuro-Psychoanalysis

Neuro-psychoanalysis

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Neuro-psychoanalysis is a movement within neuroscience and psychoanalysis to combine the insights of both disciplines for a better understanding of mind and brain.

Theoretical Base: Dual Aspect Monism

Neuro-psychoanalysis fits under the more general heading of neuropsychology: relating biological brain to psychological functions and behavior. Neuro-psychoanalysis further seeks to remedy classical neurology's exclusion of the subjective mind.



Subjective mind, that is, sensations and thoughts and feelings and consciousness, seems a completely different thing from the cellular matter that gives rise to mind, so much so that Descartes concluded they were two entirely different kinds of stuff, mind and brain. Accordingly, he invented the "dualism" of the mind, the mind-body dichotomy. Body is one kind of thing, and mind (or spirit or soul) is another. But since this second kind of stuff does not lend itself to scientific inquiry, most of today's psychologists and neuroscientists have rejected Cartesian dualism.

They have had difficulty finding an alternative, however. The opposite position, monism, says there is only one kind of stuff, brain, and the sensations like the red of a tomato simply represent the pattern of activation of certain brain cells. Many people find this simple monism unsatisfactory, though, because it does not really deal with the fact that the red of a tomato and a pattern of activation in region V4 of the visual system seem so very different. ...
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