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Grotstein, J.S. (1978). Inner Space: Its Dimensions and its Coordinates. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:55-61.

(1978). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59:55-61

Inner Space: Its Dimensions and its Coordinates

James S. Grotstein

I hope to develop the theme that psychic space is an important, though neglected, aspect of mind having many far-reaching aspects which are worthy of psychoanalytic study. Its tenants include all psychic content, amongst which are internal objects, representations of self, and psychic events generally. It is my belief that the space of the mind affects its content and vice versa. I further believe that the epigenesis and ontogenesis of space dimensions is of great practical, as well as theoretical, importance in psychoanalytic thinking.

Tausk (1919), Federn (1932), Schilder (1933), Isakower (1938), and Spitz (1965) have all shown some awareness of the importance of the boundaries surrounding the psyche. Tausk had called attention to the flattening of the self images and of its objects in schizophrenia and alluded to its disordered spatial relations. Federn emphasized the dissolution of ego boundaries in psychosis and called attention to the importance of the vestibular apparatus and its role as an organ of balance having to do with mediating dimension-alization and orientation in inner and outer space. Isakower cast further light upon the nature of psychic space by discovering that the dream must be experienced as a projection on a screen surface which turns out to have been the image of the breast. Spitz suggested that the screen was mother's face. Piaget (1956) introduced the fundamental distinctions between perceptual space and intellectual space and, at the level of intellectual space itself, between sensorimotor and representational space.

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