Dr. Mark Solms: “The Conscious Id: An Introduction to Neuropsychoanalysis”

Event Details

The Conscious Id: An Introduction to Neuropsychoanalysis”, Saturday February 18, 2017

Two aspects of the body are represented in the brain, and they are represented differently. The most important difference is that the brain regions for the two aspects of the body are associated with different aspects of consciousness. Very broadly speaking, the brainstem mechanisms derived from the autonomic body are associated with affective consciousness, and the cortical mechanisms derived from the sensorimotor body are associated with cognitive consciousness. Moreover, the upper brainstem is intrinsically conscious whereas the cortex is not; it derives its consciousness from the brainstem. These facts have substantial implications for psychoanalytic metapsychology because the upper brainstem (and associated limbic structures) performs the functions that Freud attributed to the id, while the cortex (and associated forebrain structures) performs the functions he attributed to the ego. This means that the id is the fount of consciousness and the ego is unconscious in itself. The basis for these conclusions, and some of their implications, are discussed here in a preliminary fashion.

Learning Objectives

1. Summarize at least two lines of neurobiological evidence for consciousness being primarily subcortical and affective.

2. Discuss at least two differences between traditional psychoanalytic and cognitive neuroscience accounts of unconscious processes.

3. Formulate new clinical hypotheses based on a neuropsychoanalytic model of repression.

10 a.m. Introduction of Speaker (Dr. Kobrick)
10 – 11 (Dr. Solms)
11 -12 Discussion with Audience
12 – 2:00 Lunch (on your own)
2:00 – 4:00
4:00 Closing Remarks (Dr. Kobrick)

Mark Solms, Ph.D., is best known for his discovery of the forebrain mechanisms of dreaming, and for his integration of psychoanalytic theories and methods with those of modern neuroscience. Born in 1961, he was educated at Pretoria Boys’ School and the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He emigrated to London in 1988, where he worked academically at University College London (Psychology Department) and clinically at the Royal London Hospital (Neurosurgery Department), while he trained at the Institute of Psychoanalysis. He holds the Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital (Departments of Psychology and Neurology) and is President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association. He is also currently Research Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He founded the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society in 2000 and was Founding Editor of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis. He is the authorised editor and translator of the forthcoming Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (24 vols), and the Complete Neuroscientific Works of Sigmund Freud (4 vols).

This event is an accredited group learning activity (section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, approved by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA). The specific opinions and content of this event are not necessarily those of the CPA, and are the responsibility of the organizer(s) alone.