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Torbet, G. (2013). Research Digest. Neuropsychoanalysis, 15(1):104-106.

(2013). Neuropsychoanalysis, 15(1):104-106

Research Digest

Review by:
Georgina Torbet

This issue's Research Digest profiles two recent publications of interest to neuropsychoanalysis: an empirical study on dreams and consciousness, and a review of the neurobiology of chronic pain. They are examples of the ways in which work in experimental psychology or neuroscience can be directly relevant to psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice. The challenges of empirically investigating inherently subjective phenomena have long been an issue for the mind sciences, particularly given the desire of some researchers to align psychology with the paradigms of objectivity that are common in the hard sciences. However, the studies here demonstrate the possibility of investigating subjective experience in a reliable and systematic way. The complexity of human experience renders objective examination of this experience difficult, but not impossible, and these papers exemplify the potential benefits that experimental psychology could derive from examination of the phenomenological.

In addition, two pieces of theoretical work regarding the relationship between the mind and brain fields are described: one regarding the biological paradigm of psychiatry, and one on the philosophical basis for inferring motives in psychoanalysis. These interdisciplinary critiques utilize insights from sociology and philosophy to shed light on debates within the fields of psychiatry and psychoanalysis, and they then demonstrate how these insights can be applied in practical terms.

Voss, U., Schermellen-Engel, K.

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