Psychoanalysis and cognitive neuropsychology: Theoretical and methodological affinites

Carlo Semenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The position is taken in this paper that psychoanalysis can better profit from findings in neuroscience (and vice versa) through the mediation of cognitive science. It is argued that cognitive science is highly compatible with Freud's background and thinking. This opinion stems from a reconsideration of Freud's neuropsychological work, with particular reference to his book on aphasia. Cognitive neuropsychology and psychoanalysis are also thought to share some basic theoretical tenets and methods; for example, the assumption of transparency and the emphasis on single case studies. Some basic concepts developed within cognitive (neuro)psychology may indeed be painlessly incorporated into psychoanalytic theory. Among these, the concepts of modularity and informational encapsulation as well as the distinction among different types of memory appear to have a particular importance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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