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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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Carmeli, Z. Blass, R. (2013). The Case Against Neuroplastic Analysis: A Further Illustration of the Irrelevance of Neuroscience to Psychoanalysis Through a Critique of Doidge's The Brain that Changes Itself. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 94(2):391-410.

(2013). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 94(2):391-410

Book Review Essay

The Case Against Neuroplastic Analysis: A Further Illustration of the Irrelevance of Neuroscience to Psychoanalysis Through a Critique of Doidge's The Brain that Changes Itself

Zvi Carmeli and Rachel Blass

In a previous paper, we critically examined claims put forth by proponents of the growing neuropsychoanalytic trend (Blass and Carmeli, 2007). In particular, we called into question the claim that neuroscientific findings are relevant and important for the development and justification of psychoanalytic theory and practice. We pointed to some of the intuitions that have led to the popularity of such neuropsychoanalytic claims, and then exposed the fallacies that underlie both the claims and the intuitions.

We also showed how the neuropsychoanalytic trend modifies the basic aims of the analytic process, shifting away from the unique psychoanalytic concern with the understanding of meanings and the role of interpersonal discourse in discerning and justifying these meanings. As such it was having a negative impact on the development of psychoanalytic thinking and practice.

The present paper expands on and further grounds these conclusions. It responds to claims put forth in the neuropsychoanalytic literature regarding an area of neuroscientific interest that we did not address in our previous work. This area of interest is the brain's plasticity (neuroplasticity). In short, brain plasticity denotes the capacity of the brain's structure and function to be altered by experience and input from the environment. Contemporary investigators of this plasticity offer evidence regarding the various forms of change that the brain remains open to throughout life, even in adulthood. It is often stressed that these findings challenge a view of the brain as immutable after a critical period during early childhood (Rakic, 2002).

Evidence associated with the notion of the brain's plasticity has recently been presented as supporting the idea that neuroscience can significantly influence psychological understanding and theoretical development. It has also been claimed that neuroplasticity is very relevant to psychoanalysis.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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