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Rizzuto, A. (1990). The Origins of Freud's Concept of Object Representation ('Objektvorstellung') in his Monograph 'On Aphasia': Its Theoretical and Technical Importance. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:241-248.

(1990). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 71:241-248

The Origins of Freud's Concept of Object Representation ('Objektvorstellung') in his Monograph 'On Aphasia': Its Theoretical and Technical Importance

Ana-Maria Rizzuto

SUMMARY

In 'On aphasia' Freud finds it necessary to ask a question: 'In what manner is the body reproduced in the cerebral cortex?' His answer to this question would provide the foundation for the essential concepts of psychoanalytic theory and technique.

In this paper I present in detail Freud's conception of the process of representing the body in the cortex. I also attend to the vocabulary he selected to present his ideas. Finally, I describe the consequences of both for his later theorizing.

Freud was the first to oppose Meynert's notion that 'a representation is localized in the nerve cell'. Freud suggests that representations are processes without any localization. The process, once formed, has the potential to reappear under proper stimulation, to bring forth, as mnemic images, something psychical (das Psychische). These psychical representations are the sole possessors of the proper stimuli that motivate human beings to talk spontaneously and voluntarily.

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