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J Am Psychoanal Assoc. 2003 Summer;51(3):773-801.

The emerging dialogue between psychoanalysis and neuroscience: neuroimaging perspectives.

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Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, University of Tübingen, Germany.


Current progress in the cognitive neurosciences is highly relevant to the development of psychoanalytic theory and practice. Neuroscience is today becoming mature enough to provide empirical biological approaches for the investigation of psychoanalytic models and observations. The current state of functional neuroimaging techniques is reviewed, selected paradigms and findings relevant to psychotherapy research are presented, and ways to pursue the dialogue between psychoanalysts and neuroscientists are discussed, as are some related obstacles and pitfalls. The emerging dialogue between psychoanalysts and neuroscientists may help not only to reestablish a solid position of psychodynamic theory and treatment in contemporary medicine, but also to bridge the division between "psychological" and "somatic" treatments, and gain important insights into the mind-brain relationship.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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