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Ennis, J. (1967). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 36:478-480.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:478-480

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Jerome Ennis

DISCUSSION: Dr. Charles Brenner observed that the present work represented a psychoanalytically informed approach to the important problem of measuring drive intensity. However, because of the role of displacement, he doubted whether the oral drive could be isolated and studied separately. He questioned whether a true cycle or a mere sequence was involved, and wondered about the validity of the scoring.

Dr. Bruce Ruddick referred to a number of methodologic shortcomings of the experimental procedure. For instance, the conditions of the experiment must have affected the results and encouraged regression. Despite the shortcomings, he found the results interesting.

Dr. Max Schur felt that an incomplete compensation in subsequent nights' sleep for an induced dream deficit did not warrant the assumption that the difference was discharged in the waking state as drive satisfaction cannot be simply equated to preceding deprivation. He also noted that the conditions of the experiment artificially limited the ego activities and, consequently, increased the cathexis of the drives. He felt the experiment better measured the shifts and fluctuations of attention cathexis than drive cycles. Referring to the problem of displacement, he observed that the oral zone behavior may not necessarily measure oral drive discharge.

Dr. Judith Kestenberg also spoke of the methodological difficulties of measuring drive representations complicated by displacement and suggested instead a study of 'rhythms' of motor discharge in what she termed 'gratification-relaxation cycles'.

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