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Loden, S. (2001). Report on the Second International Neuro-Psychoanalysis Congress: Neuroscientific and Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Memory, New York Academy of Medicine, 20 to 22 April, 2001. Neuropsychoanalysis, 3(2):263-265.

(2001). Neuropsychoanalysis, 3(2):263-265

Report on the Second International Neuro-Psychoanalysis Congress: Neuroscientific and Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Memory, New York Academy of Medicine, 20 to 22 April, 2001

Susan Loden

The Second International Neuro-Psychoanalysis Congress, held at the New York Academy of Medicine, focused on memory from the perspectives of cognitive neuroscience research and psychoanalysis. This congress, like last year's on emotion, attracted a large number of delegates from around the world with both the psychoanalytic and neuroscientific communities well represented. The topic of memory is clearly of central concern to both disciplines, and debate at the congress highlighted not only areas of convergence, along with areas of disagreement, which could lead to potentially fruitful further research, but also the complexity of the subject and some problems in establishing basic working definitions and rules of evidence acceptable to both neuroscientists and psychoanalysts.

The congress was opened by Karl Pribram, distinguished neuroscientist, a founder of the discipline of neuropsychology, and author of Languages of the Brain and Brain and Perception: Holonomy and Structure in Figural Processing. Professor Pribram gave a brief overview of his work on the neural concomitants of consciousness, developments based on quantum holography. He stressed that Freud started from a biologically based model founded on neuroscience—in his view the “Project” is the Rosetta stone for the whole language of psychoanalysis—but signaled that his own work has taken quite a different direction. For example, Freud emphasized selective memory; in Pribram's view the concept of repression (as something pushed down and hidden) is not viable.

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