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Matthis, I. Zellner, M. Cohen, D. Mangino-Cohen, L. Lerner, B.D. Rodriguez, M. (2007). The Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience Chapter of the Argentine Psychoanalytical Association.. Neuropsychoanalysis, 9(2):235-236.

(2007). Neuropsychoanalysis, 9(2):235-236

The Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience Chapter of the Argentine Psychoanalytical Association.

Edited by:
Iréne Matthis, Maggie Zellner

Diego Cohen, Luz Mangino-Cohen, Beatriz Dorfman Lerner and Marcelo Rodriguez

Is neuroscientific knowledge useful to psychoanalysis?

The Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience Chapter of the Argentine Psychoanalytical Association, over which I preside, is in its fourth year of regular monthly meetings. On this occasion we have begun work on two recent papers—Pulver (2003) and Blass and Carmeli (2007)—about the usefulness of neuro-scientific knowledge to psychoanalysis. Pulver's observations triggered a series of reflections. Our first disagreement with the author is that, in fact, some neuroscientific knowledge has brought about changes in psychoanalytic techniques. The most relevant example is perhaps the introduction of psychopharma-cological treatment, which has led to the consideration of variations in the transference and countertransference, modification of the dream process, and other variables, such as the effects on the mind of the patient when the treatment is divided between a pharmacologist and a psychoanalyst.

We also wonder why a systematized domain of knowledge in permanent evolution—the field of psychoanalysis as well as neuroscience—must have a rapid application and purpose. Darwin's theory of evolution was better understood and appreciated decades later through Watson & Crick's double-helix structure of DNA, even though from the viewpoint of genetic laws, the idea of a certain life-transmittal substance had already been conceived. In our reading of the articles mentioned above, they struck us as having a defensive attitude that tended to isolate psychoanalysis from related disciplines, leading to a situation that Freud himself had not encouraged (Solms & Saling, 1986).

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