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Nersessian, E. Solms, M. (1999). Editors' Introduction. Neuropsychoanalysis, 1(1):3-4.

(1999). Neuropsychoanalysis, 1(1):3-4

Editors' Introduction

Edward Nersessian and Mark Solms

The goal of this new journal is to create an ongoing dialogue with the aim of reconciling psychoanalytic and neuroscientific perspectives on the mind. This goal is based on the assumption that these two historically divided disciplines are ultimately pursuing the same task, namely, “attempt[ing] to make the complications of mental functioning intelligible by dissecting the function and assigning its different constituents to different component parts of the [mental] apparatus” (Freud, 1900, p. 536). Notwithstanding the fact that psychoanalysis and neuroscience have approached this important scientific task from radically different perspectives, the underlying unity of purpose has become increasingly evident in recent years as neuroscientists have begun to investigate those “complications of mental functioning” that were traditionally the preserve of psychoanalysts. This has produced an explosion of new insights into problems of vital interest to psychoanalysis, but these insights have not been reconciled with existing psychoanalytic theories and models. Likewise, neuroscientists tackling these complex problems of human subjectivity for the first time have much to learn from a century of psychoanalytic inquiry.

If our two disciplines are truly engaged in the same fundamental task, then it should be possible somehow to reconcile their viewpoints with one an other. There is therefore a clear need for us to learn about and enhance each other's perspectives on matters of mutual interest.

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