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Schlossman, H. (1954). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 23:311-312.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:311-312

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Howard Schlossman


Dr. Ostow presented the second of his series of studies integrating psychoanalytic theory and clinical observations with neurophysiology. Following a review of the anatomy of the temporal lobes, evidence is presented to show that the hippocampus, mammillary bodies and allied structures lose their original olfactory function and assume the function of elaboration and correlation of affects. Experimental work indicates that auditory, visual and proprioceptive processes are integrated in the hippocampal gyrus, pass through the hippocampus and give rise to appropriate autonomic reactions in the hypothalamus. Dr. Ostow reviews Penfield's work and his postulate that in the temporal cortex there are mechanisms important in remembering and comparing present perceptions with past experience. Upon these and other clinical studies in man and lower animals, he presents the following theories. Under the influence of the repetitive compulsion and the pleasure-pain principle, perception is linked with preconscious fantasy and unconscious instinctual drives in the hippocampus. The affect attendant to this linkage or recognition is assessed by consciousness. The primary purpose of affect is to label and identify possible objects of instinctual gratification as desirable or undesirable, and the primary function of consciousness is to perceive affect.

The last section of the study is an integration of his formulation of the physiology of the frontal and temporal lobes. In the frontal lobes preconscious derivatives of instinctual drives and unconscious fantasies and memories are formulated and aroused to activity in a sequence determined by a relatively orderly procession of unconscious fantasies.

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