The authors examine the historical, philosophical, and scientific foundations of what they term the “inter-discipline” of neuropsychoanalysis. With the support of historical evidence, they unravel how the traditional strict separation of psychoanalysis and the neurosciences, as still practiced by certain scientists in both fields, is grounded in a misreading of Freud: Rather than advocating such a separation on principle, Freud developed his purely psychoanalytical method for pragmatic reasons—neuroscience in his time simply was not advanced enough to yield fruitful results. While psychoanalysis continued to use subjectivity to explore the internal perception of the mental apparatus, neuroscience developed tools to study the physical realization of the mental apparatus in the brain. The authors argue that a position of correlation between the two modes is likely to yield stronger results than a single-track focus. Far from constituting a new school of psychoanalysis, neuropsychoanalysis provides a link that integrates research being conducted along the psychoanalysis/neuroscience boundary.


History of neuropsychoanalysis Clinico-anatomical method Neuroscientific technology Dual-aspect monism Metapsychology 


  1. Aglioti, S., Smania, N., Manfredi, M., & Berlucchi, G. (1996). Disownership of the left hand and objects related to it in a right brain damaged patient. NeuroReport, 8, 293–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  3. Bentall, R. (2003). Madness explained: Psychosis and human nature. London: Penguin Books Ltd.Google Scholar
  4. Bentall, R. (2009). Doctoring the mind. London: Allen Lane.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berger, H. (1929). Über das Electrenkephalogramm des Menschen. Archives für Psychiatrie Nervenkrankheiten, 87, 527–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blass, R., & Carmeli, Z. (2007). The case against neuropsychoanalysis: On fallacies underlying psychoanalysis’ latest scientific trend and its negative impact on psychoanalytic discourse. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 88(1), 19–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and Loss. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  8. Bowman, C., & Turnbull, O. H. (2009). Schizotypy and flexible learning: A pre-requisite of creativity. Philoctetes, 2, 5–30.Google Scholar
  9. British Psychoanalytic Society. (2008). English-speaking conference debate. London: British Psychoanalytic Society.Google Scholar
  10. Coltheart, M., Curtis, B., Atkins, P., & Haller, M. (1993). Models of reading aloud: Dual-route and parallel-distributed-processing approaches. Psychological Review, 100, 589–608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Damasio, A. (1994). Descartes error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain. London: Picador.Google Scholar
  12. Damasio, A. (1999). The feeling of what happens: Body and emotion in the making of consciousness. London: William Heinemann.Google Scholar
  13. Damasio, A. (2004). Looking for Spinoza. London: Vintage.Google Scholar
  14. Damasio, A. (2011). Self comes to mind: Constructing the conscious brain. London: William Heinemann.Google Scholar
  15. Dawkins, R. (1998). Unweaving the rainbow. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  16. Feinberg, T. E. (2001). Altered egos: How the brain creates the self. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Finger, S. (1994). Origins of neuroscience: A history of explorations into brain function. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Fonagy, P., & Target, M. (1996). Playing with reality: I. Theory of mind and the normal development of psychic reality. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77, 217–233.Google Scholar
  19. Fonagy, P., Steele, H., & Steele, M. (1991). Maternal representations of attachment during pregnancy predict the organization of infant-mother attachment at one year of age. Child Development, 62, 891–905.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fotopolou, A., Solms, M., & Turnbull, O. H. (2004). Wishful reality distortions in confabulation. Neuropsychologia, 42, 727–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fotopoulou, A., Conway, M. A., Solms, M., Tyrer, S., & Kopelman, M. (2008a). Self-serving confabulation in prose recall. Neuropsychologia, 46, 1429–1441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fotopoulou, A., Conway, M. A., Tyrer, S., Birchall, D., Griffiths, P., & Solms, M. (2008b). Is the content of confabulation positive? An experimental study. Cortex, 44, 764–772.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fotopoulou, A., Pfaff, D., & Martin, C. (Eds.). (2012). From the couch to the lab: Trends in psychodynamic neuroscience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Freed, P. J., Yanagihara, T. K., Hirsch, J., & Mann, J. J. (2009). Neural mechanisms of grief regulation. Biological Psychiatry, 66(1), 33–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Freud, S. (1891). On Aphasia: A critical study. London: Imago.Google Scholar
  26. Freud, S. (1895). Project for a scientific psychology. S.E. I, 281–397.Google Scholar
  27. Freud, S. (1914). On narcissism: An introduction. S.E. XIV, 67–102.Google Scholar
  28. Freud, S. (1915). The unconscious. S.E. XIV, 159–215.Google Scholar
  29. Freud, S. (1920). Beyond the pleasure principle. S.E. XVIII, 1–64.Google Scholar
  30. Freud, S. (1929). Letter to Einstein, 1929. In Ilse Grubrich-Simitis (1995), ‘No greater, richer, more mysterious subject […] than the life of the mind’. An early exchange of letters between Freud and Einstein. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 76, 115–122.Google Scholar
  31. Freud, S. (1938). Some elementary lessons in psychoanalysis. S.E. XXIII, 279–286.Google Scholar
  32. Freud, S. (1940). An outline of psychoanalysis. S.E. XXIII, 139–207.Google Scholar
  33. Harlow, H. (1958). The nature of love. American Psychologist, 13, 673–685.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Heilman, K. M., & Valenstein, E. (1979). Clinical neuropsychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Kahneman, D. (2003). A perspective on judgement and choice. American Psychologist, 58, 697–720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kaplan-Solms, K., & Solms, M. (2000). Clinical studies in neuro-psychoanalysis: Introduction to a depth neuropsychology. New York: Karnac Books.Google Scholar
  37. Kertesz, A. (1983). Localisation in neuropsychology. New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  38. Kline, N. S. (1959). Major problems and needs in psychopharmacology frontiers. Boston: Little Brown.Google Scholar
  39. Kohut, H. (2009). The restoration of the self. Chicago: Chicago University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kolb, B., & Whishaw, I. Q. (1990). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology. New York: Freeman & Co.Google Scholar
  41. Le Doux, J. (1996). The emotional brain. New York: Touchstone.Google Scholar
  42. Le Doux, J. (2000). Emotion circuits in the brain. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 23, 155–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lezak, M. D., Howieson, D. B., & Loring, D. W. (2004). Neuropsychological assessment (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Luck, S. J. (2005). An introduction to the event-related potential technique. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  45. Luria, A. R. (1966). Higher cortical function in man. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  46. Luria, A. R. (1973). The working brain. Aylesbury: Penguin.Google Scholar
  47. Mayberg, H., Lozano, A., Voon, V., McNeely, H. E., Seminowicz, D., Hamani, C., Schwalb, J. M., & Kennedy, S. H. (2005). Deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression. Neuron, 45, 651–660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Milner, A. D., & Goodale, M. A. (1993). Visual pathways to perception and action. Progress in Brain Research, 95, 317–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nardone, I. B., Ward, R., Fotopoulou, A., & Turnbull, O. H. (2007). Attention and emotion in anosognosia: Evidence of implicit awareness and repression? Neurocase, 13(5), 438–445.Google Scholar
  50. Ostow, M. (1954). A psychoanalytic contribution to the study of brain function. 1: The frontal lobes. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23, 317–338.Google Scholar
  51. Ostow, M. (1955). A psychoanalytic contribution to the study of brain function. 2: The temporal lobes. 3: Synthesis. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 24, 383–423.Google Scholar
  52. Ostow, M. (1962). Drugs in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  53. Ostow, M. (1980). The psychodynamic approach to drug therapy. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.Google Scholar
  54. Ostow, M., & Kline, N. S. (1959). The psychic actions of reserpine and chlorpromazine in psychopharmacology frontiers. In N. S. Kline (Ed.), Major problems and needs in psychopharmacology frontiers (pp. 45–58). Boston: Little Brown.Google Scholar
  55. Panksepp, J. (1998). Affective neuroscience: The foundations of human and animal emotions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Panksepp, J., & Biven, L. (2012). The archeology of mind. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  57. Penfield, W. (1952). Memory mechanisms. Archives of Neurology & Psychiatry, 67, 178–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Pfaff, D. W. (1999). Drive: Neurobiological and molecular mechanisms of sexual motivation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  59. Posner, M. I., Cohen, Y., & Rafal, R. D. (1982). Neural systems control of spatial orienting. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 298, 187–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Ramachandran, V. S., & Blakeslee, S. (1998). Phantoms in the brain: Human nature and the architecture of the mind. London: Fourth Estate.Google Scholar
  61. Rizzolati, G., Fadiga, L., Fogassi, L., & Gallese, V. (1999). Resonance behaviours and mirror neurons. Archives of Italian Biology, 137, 85–100.Google Scholar
  62. Rolls, E. T. (1999). The brain and emotion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Schacter, D. L. (1996). Searching for memory. New York: Basic books.Google Scholar
  64. Schacter, D. L., Norman, K. A., & Koutstaal, W. (1998). The cognitive neuroscience of memory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 289–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Schilder, P. (2007). Brain and personality: Studies in the psychological aspects of cerebral neuropathology and the neuropsychiatric aspects of the motility of schizophrenics. Whitefish: Kessinger Publishing.Google Scholar
  66. Scoville, W. B., & Milner, B. (1957). Loss of recent memory after bilateral hippocampal lesions. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 20, 11–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Shallice, T. (1988). From neuropsychology to mental structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Siegel, A. M. (1996). Heinz Kohut and the psychology of the self. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Solms, M. (1997a). What is consciousness? Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45, 681–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Solms, M. (1997b). The neuropsychology of dreams. Mawah: Lawrence Earlbaum Press.Google Scholar
  71. Solms, M. (1998). Before and after Freud’s “Project”. Neuroscience of the Mind on the Centennial of Freud's Project for a Scientific Psychology. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 843, 1–10.Google Scholar
  72. Solms, M. (2000). Dreaming and REM sleep are controlled by different brain mechanisms. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23, 843–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Solms, M. (2001). The interpretation of dreams and the neurosciences. Psychoanalysis and History, 3, 79–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Solms, M. (2002). An introduction to the neuroscientific works of Sigmund Freud. In G. van de Vijver & F. Geerardyn (Eds.), The pre-psychoanalytic writings of Sigmund Freud (pp. 25–26). London/New York: KarnacBooks.Google Scholar
  75. Solms, M. (2011). Neurobiology and the neurological basis of dreaming. In P. Montagna & S. Chokroverty (Eds.), Handbook of clinical neurology, 98 (3rd Series), sleep disorders – Part 1 (pp. 519–544). New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  76. Solms, M., & Saling, M. (1986). On psychoanalysis and neuroscience: Freud’s attitude to the localizationist tradition. The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 67, 397–416.Google Scholar
  77. Solms, M., & Turnbull, O. H. (2002). The brain and the inner world: An introduction to the neuroscience of subjective experience. New York: Other Press/Karnac Books.Google Scholar
  78. Sulloway, F. J. (1979). Freud: Biologist of the mind. Bungay: Chaucer Press.Google Scholar
  79. Sutton, S., Braren, M., Zubin, J., & John, E. R. (1965). Evoked-potential correlates of stimulus uncertainty. Science, 150(3700), 1187–1188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Sutton, S., Tueting, P., Zubin, J., & John, E. R. (1967). Information delivery and the sensory evoked potential. Science, 155(3768), 1436–1439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Tondowski, M., Kovacs, Z., Morin, C., & Turnbull, O. H. (2007). Hemispheric asymmetry and the diversity of emotional experience in anosognosia. Neuropsychoanalysis, 9, 67–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Turnbull, O. H. (2001). The neuropsychology that would have interested Freud most. Neuro-Psychoanalysis, 3(1), 33–38.Google Scholar
  83. Turnbull, O. H. (2004). Founders of neuro-psychoanalysis: Interview with Mortimer Ostow. Neuro-Psychoanalysis, 6(2), 209–216.Google Scholar
  84. Turnbull, O., & Solms, M. (2007). Awareness, desire, and false beliefs: Freud in the light of modern neuropsychology. Cortex, 43, 1083–1090.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Turnbull, O. H., Berry, H., & Evans, C. E. Y. (2004a). A positive emotional bias in confabulatory false beliefs about place. Brain & Cognition, 55, 490–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Turnbull, O. H., Jenkins, S., & Rowley, M. L. (2004b). The pleasantness of false beliefs: An emotion-based account of confabulations. Neuro-Psychoanalysis, 6(1), 5–16.Google Scholar
  87. Turnbull, O. H., Jones, K., & Reed-Screen, J. (2002). Implicit awareness of deficit in anosognosia: An emotion-based account of denial of deficit. Neuropsychoanalysis, 4, 69–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Turnbull, O. H., Owen, V., & Evans, C. E. Y. (2005). Negative emotions in anosognosia. Cortex, 41, 67–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Walter, W. G., Cooper, R., Aldridge, V. J., McCallum, W. C., & Winter, A. L. (1964). Contingent negative variation: An electric sign of sensorimotor association and expectancy in the human brain. Nature, 203, 320–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Watson, J. D., & Crick, F. H. C. (1953). Molecular structure of nucleic acids: A structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid. Nature, 171, 737–738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Weinstein, E. A., & Kahn, R. L. (1955). Denial of illness: Symbolic and physiological aspects. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Winnicott, D. W. (1960). The theory of the parent-infant relationship. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 41, 585–595.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of PsychologyBangor UniversityBangorUK

Personalised recommendations