In light of recent neuroscientific findings relevant to psychoanalytic theories about drive and love, Yovell addresses two interrelated and partially overlapping questions: What can the neurosciences contribute to a psychoanalytic understanding of drive? And what can they contribute to a psychoanalytic understanding of how romantic love, sexuality and attachment relate to each other? The answers that Yovell provides unfold in his presentation of Freud’s drive theory and John Bowlby’s attachment theory, which he backs with neuroscientific research findings. The author also examines how the neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp’s SEEKING emotional system relates to Freud’s concept of libido, while the systems Panksepp named PANIC/GRIEF and CARE correlate with Bowlby’s attachment system. Taking the example of adult romantic love, Yovell describes how Panksepp’s subcortical emotional systems influence our conscious experience and our actions in an intricate interplay that remains to be thoroughly examined. In the end, the author conceptualizes drive theory and attachment theory as building on one another rather than as being mutually exclusive or otherwise contradicting each other.


Drive theory Attachment theory John Bowlby Jaak Panksepp SEEKING PANIC/GRIEF CARE Love Sexuality Libido BBURP 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for the Study of Affective Neuroscience (ISAN)University of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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