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Gori, E.C. Scalzone, F. (2001). The Italian Group of Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience. Neuropsychoanalysis, 3(2):271-272.

(2001). Neuropsychoanalysis, 3(2):271-272

The Italian Group of Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience

E. C. Gori, M.D. and F. Scalzone, M.D.

We would like to report on a meeting held in Bologna, June 12th, 2001. Three lectures were delivered, and here are the summaries:

1.   Professor Mauro Mancia spoke on Memory between Neuroscience and Psychoanalysis. Studies of memory start out from the viewpoints of neuropsychology, molecular biology, and psychoanalysis. Neuropsychological research has shown that longterm memory depends on an intact medial temporal lobe, including hippocampus and amygdala. Molecular biology findings indicate that the process of long-term memory is linked to the expression of certain genes, which in a lasting way modify synaptic function at the presynaptic terminals. Psychological studies have divided the long-term memory system into explicit and implicit memory. The first is conscious and verbalizable, and holds a person's whole life story. The second is neither conscious nor verbalizable, but its affective–emotional sector stores the child's experience—sometimes traumatic—of its first relations with its mother and the environment where it grows up. Implicit memory can therefore be viewed as part of an unconscious nucleus of the self that is not necessarily due to repression and is “filed” in a person's preverbal, presymbolic period. This is an area where neuroscience and psychoanalysis meet.

Thus, Kandel's suggestion seems interesting when he claims that the cognitive affective experience of the analytical relationship can lastingly influence the synaptic circuits underlying the organization of memory, and the recovery of unconscious experience, as a basis for reconstruction.

2.   Dr. A. Correale presented a lecture to the Study Group in Rome on implicit memory (within the framework of the National Study Group on Psychoanalysis and Neurosciences). The purpose of the study group (with the contribution of Dr. A. Correale [coordinator], G. Amadei. L. M. Bottiglioni, L. Silva Bustamante, M. Capuano, A. Ficacci, T. Giacolini, F. Scalzone and G. Zontini) is to study the topic of implicit memory.

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