Just the tip of the iceburg

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.

I have put together the following reading list that I recommend for those who would like to look further at some of the concepts and material we have covered during this course:

  • To assist in understanding neuroscienctific concepts and articles:

    Solms, M., & Turnbull, O. (2002). THE BRAIN AND THE INNER WORLD. Other Press (NY): Karnac (London)

  • Introductory text to neuroscience, neuroanatomy and related fields:

    Blumenfeld, H. (2010). NEUROANATOMY THROUGH CLINICAL CASES. U.S.A.: Sinauer Associates Inc.

  • To assist in understanding how neuroscience and psychoanalysis interact:

    Solms, M. (2015). THE FEELING BRAIN. Karnac (London)

  • Teaching neuroscience to psychoanalysts:

    Panksepp, J., & Biven, L. (2012). THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF MIND. Norton (NY)

The website has more material related to this course. Further courses and reading material in this regard can be found on The Neuropsychoanalysis Association website under the VIDEOS and EDUCATION tabs.

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This article is from the free online course:

What Is a Mind?

University of Cape Town