Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To review an author’s works published in PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The Author Section is a useful way to review an author’s works published in PEP-Web. It is ordered alphabetically by the Author’s surname. After clicking the matching letter, search for the author’s full name.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

(1962). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VIII, 1960: The Psychophysiological Basis for Two Kinds of Instincts: Implications for Psychoanalytic Theory. John C. Lilly. Pp. 659-670.. Psychoanal Q., 31:130-131.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VIII, 1960: The Psychophysiological Basis for Two Kinds of Instincts: Implications for Psychoanalytic Theory. John C. Lilly. Pp. 659-670.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:130-131

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VIII, 1960: The Psychophysiological Basis for Two Kinds of Instincts: Implications for Psychoanalytic Theory. John C. Lilly. Pp. 659-670.

Data derived from electrode implantation in and electrical stimulation of cortical and subcortical areas in rat, cat, monkey, porpoise, and man indicate a biological substrate for instinct persistent throughout the philogenetic series. Buried within the large brain of the human, with its vast flexibility of response and complexity of registration, are instinct-subserving systems which seem to be present in the smaller brains of other mammals. If one accepts the principle that the smaller brain with its narrower range of freedom of action and reaction has instinctual reactions basically similar to those of the larger brain, then the data derived from animal research can usefully be applied to psychoanalytic constructs. Such data seem strongly to establish that there exist in the mammalian brain two richly interconnected systems: one subserving rewards, pleasurable sensations and activities; the other subserving punishments, painful and angry sensations and activities. These two systems are functionally represented throughout the entire brain, relatively concentrated in the subcortical centers, and progressively attenuated in the cortex with its relative predominance of memory stores. Ego functions are only fractionally mediated by the lower systems, and predominantly mediated by these vast cortical areas. Stimulation of very small areas in the lower centers produces diffuse and global affective (id) states which have relative prevalence over comparable stimulation responses of the cortical areas. As a result of the ubiquitous functional representation of the two systems there seems to be no aspect of mental functioning not connected with the rewarding and/or punishing concomitants served by the two systems. Bombardment of the lower centers with masses of excitation from the cortical areas in response to appropriate life situations very possibly has an effect analogous to the direct stimulation of the centers by weak electrical charges: the production of affective states of driving intensity. In the monkey prolonged stimulation of the negative system areas initiate a downward clinical course that can become irreversible in a progression toward death. This course can be reversed by inducing

- 130 -

hyperactivity in a small part of a rewarding system. Many such data as these force the conclusion that there are at least two kinds of basic instincts: positive and negative (rewarding and punishing, loving and hating). Experimental data involving 'rebound phenomena' demonstrate that these two states are antithetic: the positive system elicits stimulus seeking and perpetuation, the negative system elicits avoidance and termination. Thus 'cathexis' is a concept involving an emotional charge with two signs: positive connoting a seeking-for and negative connoting a retreating-from. These pure forms exist only in fantasies, dreams, the primary process, and in certain of the stimulation experiments. In the usual dealings with reality, positive-system activation is necessary to initiate object seeking; yet, when enough has been accomplished with the object, activation of the negative-system is required to effect a break with the object. This admixture in real object representations requires that 'cathexis' be redefined to encompass both aspects: 'For now I want and need more, but soon I'll want it stopped'. Each of these two aspects is an active process, served by its own brain system.

- 131 -

Article Citation

(1962). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VIII, 1960. Psychoanal. Q., 31:130-131

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.