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Kaplan, B. (2010). Report from the Eleventh International Neuropsychoanalysis Congress. Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(2):236-237.

(2010). Neuropsychoanalysis, 12(2):236-237

Report from the Eleventh International Neuropsychoanalysis Congress

Barnett Kaplan

The 2010 International Neuropsychoanalysis Congress— with the theme of Neuropsychoanalytic Perspectives on Play—was held in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., on 24 and 25 July. Cosponsored by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington and the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, the meetings were held at Kane Hall on the stately University of Washington campus.

Nearly 200 participants from the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K., Mexico, South America, many Western European countries, Israel, Japan, and China attended.

An atmosphere of excited discovery and dialog prevailed throughout the conference. Many of the presentations were efforts to correlate and bridge foundational concepts in psychoanalysis with the striking advances that have been made in recent years in our understanding of brain functioning. While I cannot do justice in this limited space to the many outstanding presentations, they compellingly demonstrated the creative vitality of the neuropsychoanalytic project and also pointed the direction toward areas of future research and study. I will review a few of the presentations in more detail.

In a riveting lecture, Jaak Panksepp summarized an extensive body of his original research on mammalian play, especially the rough-and-tumble play (RAT) of laboratory rats. He presented robust data that he believes unequivocally demonstrate play circuitry in the ancient mammalian brain that is neuroanatomically and neurochemically distinct from both the exploratory and the aggressive neural circuitry and which assumes the status of a primary emotional, instinctual command system.

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