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Trowell, J. (2001). The Mind-Brain Interface: Can Psychonalysis Provide a Bridge? Clinical Studies in Neuro-Psychoanalysis: Introduction to a Depth Neuro-psychology. By Karen Kaplan-Solms & Mark Solms. Karnac Books. Pp. 308.. Psychoanal. Psychother., 15(2):192-194.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 15(2):192-194

The Mind-Brain Interface: Can Psychonalysis Provide a Bridge? Clinical Studies in Neuro-Psychoanalysis: Introduction to a Depth Neuro-psychology. By Karen Kaplan-Solms & Mark Solms. Karnac Books. Pp. 308.

Review by:
Judith Trowell

Carrying this book around, I was asked if I understood it; and it was suggested I would have to admit defeat. In reality, it was a book I enjoyed and I could follow most of it. It was not even like A Brief History of Time (Hawking 1988) which I understood as I was reading it, but then subsequently could not explain it. Mark and Karen Solms are putting forward some important and courageous ideas; they are constantly tentative. They recognise they are putting forward hypotheses that may need dramatic modification, development or elaboration.

The book opens with an introduction, and, in the historical background, nothing if not ambitious, they start by stating that they hope to pave the way for an integration of psychoanalysis and neuroscience, to study mental life using the development of Freud's ideas from his work with aphasia, his neuroscientific work, and his shift to the development of psychoanalysis, as an example of ideas coming together. They suggest that rather than try to integrate via anatomy and physiology, the better route is via neuropsychology. By exploring localisation in the brain and its evolution, they suggest that the localisation of mental function is possible. They show how the work of Charcot, Hughlings Jackson and Meynert influenced the developments of Freud's ideas. The chapter on the work of Luria was illuminating and easy to follow, and shows how dynamic neuropsychology developed and the concept of ‘dynamic localisation’ that Luria (1947) suggests instead of conceptions of ‘centres’ for complex psychic processes, that is, the concept of dynamic structures or constellations of cerebral zones.

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