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Ralske, N.N. (1967). Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Psychoanal Q., 36:153-154.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:153-154

Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York

Norman N. Ralske

DISCUSSION: Dr. Nathaniel Ross agreed with Dr. Simon's emphasis on the importance of automatization in facilitating and initiating the learning process in the most subtle operations of the ego. However, he questioned whether it was consciousness as such that brings about the 'paradoxical effect', and suggested rather that an accompanying phenomena not in the conflict-free sphere of ego functioning (anxiety) might be responsible. Dr. Ross felt that what appears to be necessary for learning are intervals between the exertion of efforts, during which time automatization appears to take place relatively rapidly.

Dr. Jerome Levine found Dr. Simon's theoretical suggestions provocative but expressed reservations. Such terms as 'effort', 'motivation', and 'attention' were used without precise distinction between them.

Dr. Jan Frank raised the question of how Dr. Simon would reconcile the adaptive functions of automatizations in the schizophrenias, where there exists an obfuscation of consciousness and attention cathexis. He noted that automatisms are not always adaptive; they may be maladaptive when they interfere with the proper distribution of bound psychic energy.

Dr. Max Schur stated that preconscious automatisms are not derived from instinctual gratifications; the pleasure involved in the well-performed automatism is an instinctual pleasure.

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