What's next?

As we come to the end of this course, I hope that you have a better sense of what a mind is, how it works and what it is for. I’ve aimed to facilitate this by taking what Humanities disciplines like philosophy and psychoanalysis have to offer and aligning it with insights from the neurosciences, as I believe this is how we can best understand what a mind is. I call this interdisciplinary approach neuropsychoanalysis. It’s about trying to understand how the business of being a person - the self - relates to what we know about the physiology and anatomy of the brain.

While psychoanalysis offers tremendous insights into unconscious thoughts, feelings and emotions, neuroscience offers us an opportunity to test and develop some of these ideas scientifically. A neuropsychoanalytic approach allows for a combination of subjective reporting and objective measurement. If you are a practitioner in any discipline involving the mind, I hope I have convinced you that this approach holds great scope for understanding and treating mental disorders.

If you are interested in being part of this work or want to know more, please visit the website of The Neuropsychoanalysis Association, which promotes inter-disciplinary work between the fields of psychoanalysis and neuroscience. The 16th International Neuropsychoanalysis Congress will take place at the University of Amsterdam from 9-12 July 2015. The congress has a focus on Plasticity and Repetition (and other topics) and will create space for the consideration of the duality of the potential for change and the limits of change. The link provides more information on the academics that will be presenting at the congress, as well as registration details.

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This article is from the free online course:

What Is a Mind?

University of Cape Town