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Naccache, L. (2010). A Few Suggestions about Suggestion, Psychoanalysis, and Neuroscience. Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(1):32-34.

(2010). Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(1):32-34

A Few Suggestions about Suggestion, Psychoanalysis, and Neuroscience Related Papers

Commentary by
Lionel Naccache

Suggestion is a crucial phenomenon to test the relevance of cross-studies between psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience. In their target paper, Raz & Wolfson present substantive arguments to defend the idea that functional brain imaging and contemporary electrophysiological tools can shed new light on the mechanisms at work in suggestion. However, they also emphasize the existence of serious potential pitfalls and of both methodological and theoretical limitations in this project of convergence. I develop here some reasons to be optimistic on the fecundity of this project, and, more largely, I advocate a hetero-phenomenology approach to elaborate a neuroscientific theory of subjectivity. Within this project, psychoanalysis is not considered as a science but as a first-person psychology endowed with a potentially rich source of knowledge. However, this richness is not to be found in the theoretical claims of psychoanalysis—which are open to the same errors as other purely introspective thoughts—but, rather, in the substantial empirical evidence experienced by the patients and by the therapists during the cure.

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