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Semenza, C. (2001). Response to Commentaries by Carlo Semenza. Neuropsychoanalysis, 3(1):38-45.

(2001). Neuropsychoanalysis, 3(1):38-45

Response to Commentaries by Carlo Semenza Related Papers

Carlo Semenza


While waiting for relevant case studies, neuropsychoanalysis, as I think this journal is trying to promote, can only be an intellectual exercise. This exercise of exploring the fields of psychoanalysis and neuroscience primarily consists of the search for concepts that, while developed in one of the two disciplines, may turn out to be useful if somehow incorporated into the other.

The shared belief is obviously that psychoanalysis and neuroscience, while differing in aims and methods, are ultimately about the same thing—the human mind. We know that the two disciplines have been separated almost from the very beginning, and that adepts of one field have generally gone their own way without knowing too much about the other field.

In many respects this separation was desirable, and dictated by theoretical necessity and lack of empirical findings bridging the two fields. In the past decade, however, the opinion emerged that there was no longer a reason for this state of affairs. It was intuited that the advanced knowledge in neuroscience could now allow useful interaction with psychoanalysis. I am also convinced that the reverse is true: Psychoanalysis can indeed inspire interesting interpretations of findings in neuroscience.

Within this framework I felt I could offer a few suggestions. These were by no means prescriptions, as some of my commentators, notably Green, understood them to be. My aim was only to provide some food for thought. In short, my main suggestions were the following:


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