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Michels, R. (2010). The Mind-Brain Barrier in 2010. Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(1):30-31.

(2010). Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(1):30-31

The Mind-Brain Barrier in 2010 Related Papers

Commentary by
Robert Michels

The history of psychoanalysis includes recurring attempts to formulate the relationship between neuroscience and psychoanalysis. However, neither of these disciplines has been static. The result is an old question that is also a new question: How do we think of the neuroscience of 2010 in relation to the psychoanalysis of 2010? The question for neuropsychoanalysis is not whether the brain is involved in behavior but, rather, what significance, if any, does knowing more about that involvement have for psychoanalysis. In neuroscience it would probably be more valuable to explore simpler elements of memory, affect, cognition, etc. than to pursue such complex constructions as transference or therapeutic response. At the same time, psychoanalysis has been far more enriched by studies of developmental psychology, infancy and childhood, and family interactions, as well as by studies of language and communication, than by studies of neurosciences. Research at the interface of cognitive neuroscience and psychoanalysis requires decisions regarding resource allocation. These must consider not only the scientific opportunities but also the value of probable results to each of the related disciplines.

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