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Salas, C. Turnbull, O.H. (2010). In Self-Defense: Disruptions in the Sense of Self, Lateralization, and Primitive Defenses. Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(2):172-182.

(2010). Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(2):172-182

In Self-Defense: Disruptions in the Sense of Self, Lateralization, and Primitive Defenses Related Papers

Commentary by Christian Salas and Oliver H. Turnbull

Perhaps the main appeal of Todd Feinberg's proposal is his effort to undertake the study of one of the most avoided and controversial topics in neuroscience and psychoanalysis: the self. The difficulties that this endeavor implies are multiple, and it is our intention to engage with Feinberg's pursuit by constructively challenging and potentially enriching his theory. Our purpose here is to examine four particular aspects of Feinberg's argument First, to point out the need to clarify how he understands the notion of self from a psychoanalytic and neuroscientific perspective. Second, to review the evidence regarding how purely cognitive conditions (memory disorders, aphasia, etc.) do affect the sense of self. Third, to examine his claim on how the neuropathologies of the self imply a regression to earlier stages of development, characterized by a recrudescence of patterns of thought and psychological defenses. Fourth, to comment on his theoretical suggestion that, because patients with right-sided lesions preserve immature defenses (denial, projection, splitting, fantasy), those primitive defensive processes are somehow left-lateralized, while mature defenses are right-lateralized.

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