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Imeri, L. (2007). Psicoanalisi e neuroscienze [Psychoanalysis and neuroscience] Edited by Mauro Mancia Milan: Springer. 2007. 460 p.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 88(6):1573-1577.
  

(2007). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 88(6):1573-1577

Psicoanalisi e neuroscienze [Psychoanalysis and neuroscience] Edited by Mauro Mancia Milan: Springer. 2007. 460 p.

Reviewed by
Luca Imeri

Thanks to developments in the field of neuroscience, has the time come for psychoanalysis to find neurobiological bases? And, on the other hand, can psychoanalytical models of the mind help neuroscientists (in the broad meaning of the term) in their work, which is now challenging new fields and getting closer and closer to mental functions? This new volume, edited by Mauro Mancia, a psychoanalyst and neurophysiologist, offers chapters that describe the new neuro-scientific developments that are of direct relevance to psychoanalysis together with chapters by psychoanalysts who start reflecting on what these findings can mean to their practice and to the theories which are at the basis of that practice. The volume is organized in four sections, devoted to (i) memory (and its relationship to the unconscious); (ii) brain systems for the internal representation of actions and states of others; (iii) dream; and (iv) the development of mental activity in the foetus and infant.

Memory, which is of crucial interest to both neuroscience and psychoanalysis, also represents the field where the dialogue between the two disciplines has the widest common ground and can prove to be most useful for both. Neuroscience has always investigated explicit (or declarative) memory, which encompasses episodic and semantic memories, is conscious, can be verbalized and recalled. Only recently, neuroscience started devoting attention to priming and procedural memory (learning, for instance, to run a bicycle or play an instrument), which are now considered part of a ‘new’ form of memory, defined as implicit memory, which is non-conscious and cannot be verbalized.

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