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Gilmore, K. (1994). Mapping the Mind. The Intersection of Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience: By Fred M. Levin. Hillsdale, NJ/London: The Analytic Press, 1991. 264 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 63:781-783.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:781-783

Mapping the Mind. The Intersection of Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience: By Fred M. Levin. Hillsdale, NJ/London: The Analytic Press, 1991. 264 pp.

Review by:
Karen Gilmore

In Mapping the Mind, Fred Levin invites the interested and steadfast reader on an unabashedly speculative journey to the interface of psychoanalysis and related disciplines—not only neuroscience, but also cognitive psychology, infant observational research, learning theory, etc. Wielding his voluminous fund of knowledge, he gradually fashions a developmental perspective that draws on selected psychoanalytic principles (weighted especially toward self psychology), specific features of neuroanatomic growth in early childhood and throughout the life cycle, learning theory, new information about the function of neural structures, and specific theories of infant development. In this process, he establishes correlations between brain development and core sense of self, between the (presumed) special effectiveness of metaphor in interpretation and the bridging of hierarchically organized memory systems, between information-processing theory and REM cycles, between REM and nonREM cycles and transference/nontransference states, between therapeutic action and hemispheric integration, and so on. These bold, provocative, and stimulating ideas are presented with varying types and depths of scientific support; some are from primary sources but others are clearly filtered through theory.

Altogether, Levin's energy and enthusiasm, his creative leaps and original correlations, seem to cut through concerns about level of abstraction, autonomous scientific disciplines, indeed the fundamental question of how he thinks about the relationship of psychological experience to brain events. This may reduce the appeal of this book for some sophisticated readers, since Levin is outspoken in his wish to draw analogies and thereby assert connections between neural structure and function and human psychology as he understands it, with little deference paid to philosophical refinements.


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