Chapter

Neuroscience, Psychoanalysis, and Memory

Marcia Cavell

in Becoming a Subject

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780199287086
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603921 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199287082.003.0002
 Neuroscience, Psychoanalysis, and Memory

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Although psychoanalysis has been attacked on every conceivable level, contemporary research supports Freud’s most important thesis: that much mental functioning is unconscious, and kept out of consciousness by anxiety and defence against anxiety. Research also supports other important Freudian propositions, such as that childhood catastrophes reverberate in the adult mind, causing pathological ways of thinking and behaving; that memory has different ways of working, many of which are unconscious; and that anxiety misunderstood fixes us neurotically to the past. This chapter focuses on the concepts of the unconscious and emotional memory. It argues that as there are many kinds of unconscious mental processes, so are there multiple memory systems, each obeying different rules of operation, which interact to produce the subjective experience of remembering.

Keywords: psychoanalysis; psychotherapy; memory; neuroscience; Freud; unconscious; emotions; anxiety

Chapter.  7126 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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