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Harkavy, E.E. (1949). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 18:277-278.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:277-278

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Edward E. Harkavy


Margolin psychoanalyzed a woman while concurrently inspecting her gastric mucosa which had been surgically exposed following a suicidal attempt with caustic potash. He discovered to his surprise that unconscious ideas and affects influenced gastric functions to such an extent that these functions became dissociated under the influence of certain unconscious constellations. From these observations and others not yet reported by him, he derives a 'dynamic resynthesis of psychoanalysis with the biology from which it arose and later parted', as well as 'a new method of validation of psychoanalytic hypotheses and theory'. His first dialectical step is to distinguish between mind and brain: the central nervous system contains localized representations of organs and their functions, while the mind elaborates fantasies of form and of function. Secondly, as the fantasies change, memory traces called engrammes of both psyche and somm remain. Finally, deep regressions may evoke 'engrammes based on the involuntary part of the bodily functions' such as those seen in the dissociated functioning of the stomach.

Dr. Eidelberg expressed his confidence in psychoanalytic data themselves, considering them as valid as the knee jerk. He asked how the speaker differentiated between conversion hysteria and organ neuroses. Dr. P.

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