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Koehler, B. (2011). Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience in Dialogue: Commentary on Paper by Arnold H. Modell. Psychoanal. Dial., 21(3):303-319.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 21(3):303-319

Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience in Dialogue: Commentary on Paper by Arnold H. Modell

Brian Koehler, Ph.D.

Arnold H. Modell has been engaged in an ongoing effort to advance psychoanalysis as well as to integrate psychoanalytic theory and relevant domains of science, particularly neuroscience, with psychoanalytic practice. He has been articulating a biology and construction of meaning and the role of metaphor as he attempts to understand the relationship between mind and brain. Modell strives to understanding how “matter becomes imagination,” as well as the relationship between the first-person psychological unconscious and the third-person neurophysiological unconscious. The latter, according to Modell, is interpreted by a personal “autobiographical self” and given meaning. This discussion of Modell's theories will include historical and contemporary attempts to understand how “matter becomes imagination.” Although there is a growing neuroscience research base for articulating the reverse, i. e., “how imagination becomes matter,” the present author will focus on the project Modell h as placed before himself and his audience. The role of consciousness in the brain-mind interface, mirror neuron systems and intersubjectivity will be discussed. Clinically, the role of trauma's effects on memory and metaphor as well as the defensive functions of non-relatedness and counter-dependency will be examined within the wider context of the very rich and subjectively meaningful journey of matter becoming imagination.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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