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Corbin, E.I. (1974). The Autonomous Ego Functions in Creativity. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 22:568-587.

(1974). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 22:568-587

The Autonomous Ego Functions in Creativity

Edwin I. Corbin, M.D.


In this paper I attempt to demonstrate the importance of constitutional autonomous ego functions and consciousness in the processes of creativity and that this aggregation of ego functions is a highly complex interrelated system of auxiliary and subsidiary apparatuses. These collective ego functions have motor, sensory, and reality-testing functions all linked by the synthetic function and are devoted to solving external aesthetic problems. They thus have adaptive functions. These ego functions have never been studied systematically by psychoanalysis, since manifestations of their activity do not ordinarily appear in clinical work, nor is the psychoanalyst competent in this area. They are autonomous, yet are influenced by either developmental, motivational, or structural forces from birth on. They subserve discharge via motor systems so that drive tensions are diminished regardless of the source. This system has emergency functions that differ from symptom formation.

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