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Modell, A.H. (2011). The Unconsciously Constructed Virtual Other. Psychoanal. Dial., 21(3):292-302.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 21(3):292-302

The Unconsciously Constructed Virtual Other

Arnold H. Modell, M.D.

Neuroscience has confirmed Freud's assertion of the primacy of unconscious process in relation to conscious experience. However, unconscious process, for many neuroscientists, is viewed as something that is devoid of meaning. This paper suggests that there are different levels of unconscious process. This conceptualization of unconscious process may help to reconcile the psychoanalytic assumption of a meaningful unconscious with the conception that unconscious process is a meaningless code, a belief held by most neuroscientists. To effect this reconciliation we must return to Freud's earlier theory of unconscious process as described in his Interpretation of Dreams. A dream-like unconscious process, employing metaphor, unconsciously organizes our affective experiences while we are awake.

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