Transdisciplinary Methodology and Neuropsychodynamic Concept–Fact Iterativity

Georg Northoff

in Neuropsychoanalysis in practice

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599691
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754746 | DOI:
Transdisciplinary Methodology and Neuropsychodynamic Concept–Fact Iterativity

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Chapter 3 raises the methodological question of how we can link and connect psychodynamic concepts and neuroscientific facts in a valid and reliable way. Investigation of brain–self and brain–object differentiation requires a methodology that goes beyond mere correlation between and mutual enrichment of psychodynamic concepts and neuroscientific facts. Rather than aiming to reveal mere neural correlates (e.g. consistency between or correspondence of specific psychodynamic contents) (see, for instance, Cathart-Harris and Friston, 2010 , pp. 1–2, 13 and Carhart-Harris et al., 2008 , p. 15), I go further by searching for those neuronal mechanisms and the kind of neural code that enable and predispose the brain to differentiate self and object from itself (i.e. brain–object and brain–self differentiation). For this we need to develop a specific methodological strategy that allows us not only to put psychodynamic concepts within the brain's neural context but also, conversely, to consider the brain's neuronal mechanisms within the psychodynamic context of self and objects. This makes it necessary to mutually compare and match psychodynamic concepts and neuroscientific facts with each other, resulting in what I call “neuropsychodynamic iterativity.” I develop an outline of neuropsychodynamic iterativity as transdisciplinary strategy in Chapter 3, and this will be the methodological approach that guides the empirical Parts II, III, and IV of the book.

Chapter.  15887 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry

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