From the Couch to the Lab: Trends in Psychodynamic Neuroscience

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Aikaterini Fotopoulou, Donald Pfaff, Martin A. Conway
OUP Oxford, May 17, 2012 - Medical - 494 pages
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Can the psychodynamics of the mind be correlated with neurodynamic processes in the brain? The book revisits this important question - one that scientists and psychoanalysts have been asking for more than a century. Freud envisioned that the separation between the two approaches was just a temporary limitation that future scientific progress would overcome. Yet, only recently have scientific developments shown that he was right. Technological and methodological innovations in neuroscience allow unprecedented insight into the neurobiological basis of topics such as empathy, embodiment and emotional conflict. As these domains have traditionally been the preserve of psychoanalysis and other fields within the humanities, rapprochement between disciplines seems more important than ever. Recent advances in neurodynamics and computational neuroscience also reveal richer and more dynamic brain-mind relations than those previously sketched by cognitive sciences. Are we therefore ready to correlate some neuroscientific concepts with psychoanalytic ones? Can the two disciplines share a common conceptual framework despite their different epistemological perspectives? The book brings together internationally renowned contributors from the fields of Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience and Neuro-psychoanalysis to address these questions. The volume is organised in five clear sections, Motivation; Emotion; Conscious and Unconscious Processes; Cognitive Control; and Development of the Self. With a range of chapters written by leading figures in their fields, it gives the reader a strong flavour of how much has already been achieved between the disciplines and how much more lies ahead. This important new book reveals the intrinsic challenges and tensions of this interdisciplinary endeavour and emphasises the need for a shared language and new emerging fields such as Psychodynamic Neuroscience.

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Drives and motivation
Conscious and unconscious processes
Mechanisms of cognitive control
The development of the self embodied and social cognition
Author Index
Subject Index

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About the author (2012)

Aikaterini Fotopoulou is Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, UK; Donald Pfaff is with the Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior at The Rockefeller University in New York, N.Y., USA and Martin A. Conway is with theInstitute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds, UK.

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