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Solms, M. (2000). J. Allan Hobson and Edward Pace-Schott's Response Commentary by Mark Solms. Neuropsychoanalysis, 2(2):193-201.

(2000). Neuropsychoanalysis, 2(2):193-201

J. Allan Hobson and Edward Pace-Schott's Response Commentary by Mark Solms Related Papers

Mark Solms

I will respond here to the major points made by Braun and Reiser and Hobson and Pace-Schott regarding my commentary on Hobson's target paper (1999). I will start with some general issues before moving on to more specific ones.

The Ghost of Freud

Both Reiser (1999) and Braun (1999) lament Hobson's and my preoccupation with whether or not Freud was right; they argue that perhaps Freud need not be the central issue any longer (Braun, 1999, p. 200). Certainly, I agree that Freud need not be the central issue any longer for modern scientists seeking to understand the brain mechanisms of dreaming. I accept too that the narrow question, Was Freud right?, places unnecessary constraints on fresh theoretical possibilities. However, Hobson was specifically asked by the editors of Neuro-Psychoanalysis to comment on the implications for psychoanalysis of recent developments in the neuroscientific understanding of dreams. We were interested in Hobson's views on this issue for the reason that his earlier research findings with respect to the brainstem mechanisms of dreaming were widely interpreted as disproving Freud's dream theory (including by Hobson himself; e.g., Hobson and McCarley, 1977; Hobson, 1988). If recent findings in neuroscience have now cast doubt on the validity of Hobson's earlier findings, then it is necessary, and only fair, for us to reevaluate his criticisms of Freud in the light of the new data. Naturally, in other contexts (in a journal dealing only with neuroscience, for example) it would be less appropriate for our discussion to revolve around Freud's dream theory (cf.

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