Psyche and Brain: The Biology of Talking Cures

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Also, psychoanalysts encourage their patients to recline on a couch. Typically, the psychoanalyst sits, out of sight, behind the patient. The psychoanalyst's task, in collaboration with the analysand, is to help deepen the analysand's understanding of those factors, outside of his awareness, that drive his behaviors. In the safe environment of the psychoanalytic setting, the analysand becomes attached to the analyst and pretty soon he begins to experience the same conflicts with his analyst that he experiences with key figures in his life such as his parents, his boss, his significant other, etc.

It is the psychoanalyst's role to point out these conflicts and to interpret them. The transferring of these internal conflicts onto the analyst is called "transference". Many studies have also been done on briefer "dynamic" treatments; these are more expedient to measure, and shed light on the therapeutic process to some extent. On average, classical analysis may last 5. Psychoanalytic training in the United States involves a personal psychoanalysis for the trainee, approximately hours of class instruction, with a standard curriculum, over a four or five-year period.

Typically, this psychoanalysis must be conducted by a Supervising and Training Analyst. Most institutes but not all within the American Psychoanalytic Association, require that Supervising and Training Analysts become certified by the American Board of Psychoanalysts. Certification entails a blind review in which the psychoanalysts work is vetted by psychoanalysts outside of their local community.

After earning certification, these psychoanalysts undergo another hurdle in which they are specially vetted by senior members of their own institute. Supervising and Training analysts are held to the highest clinical and ethical standards. Moreover, they are required to have extensive experience conducting psychoanalyses. Similarly, class instruction for psychoanalytic candidates is rigorous. Typically classes meet several hours a week, or for a full day or two every other weekend during the academic year; this varies with the institute.

Candidates generally have an hour of supervision each week, with a Supervising and Training Analyst, on each psychoanalytic case. The minimum number of cases varies between institutes, often two to four cases. Male and female cases are required. Supervision must go on for at least a few years on one or more cases. Supervision is done in the supervisor's office, where the trainee presents material from the psychoanalytic work that week.

In supervision, the patient's unconscious conflicts are explored, also, transference-countertransference constellations are examined. Also, clinical technique is taught. Because of theoretical differences, there are independent institutes, usually founded by psychologists, who until were not permitted access to psychoanalytic training institutes of the APsaA. Currently there are between 75 and independent institutes in the United States. As well, other institutes are affiliated to other organizations such as the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry , and the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.

At most psychoanalytic institutes in the United States, qualifications for entry include a terminal degree in a mental health field, such as Ph. A few institutes restrict applicants to those already holding an M. It was founded by the analyst Theodor Reik. Some psychoanalytic training has been set up as a post-doctoral fellowship in university settings, such as at Duke University, Yale University, New York University, Adelphi University and Columbia University.

Other psychoanalytic institutes may not be directly associated with universities, but the faculty at those institutes usually hold contemporaneous faculty positions with psychology Ph.

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The IPA is the world's primary accrediting and regulatory body for psychoanalysis. Their mission is to assure the continued vigor and development of psychoanalysis for the benefit of psychoanalytic patients. It works in partnership with its 70 constituent organizations in 33 countries to support 11, members. In the US, there are 77 psychoanalytical organizations, institutes associations in the United States, which are spread across the states of America. APSaA has 38 affiliated societies which have 10 or more active members who practice in a given geographical area.

The aims of APSaA and other psychoanalytical organizations are: provide ongoing educational opportunities for its members, stimulate the development and research of psychoanalysis, provide training and organize conferences. There are eight affiliated study groups in the United States.

A study group is the first level of integration of a psychoanalytical body within the IPA, followed by a provisional society and finally a member society. Until the establishment of the Division of Psychoanalysis, psychologists who had trained in independent institutes had no national organization. The Division of Psychoanalysis now has approximately 4, members and approximately 30 local chapters in the United States.

The Division of Psychoanalysis holds two annual meetings or conferences and offers continuing education in theory, research and clinical technique, as do their affiliated local chapters. This organization is affiliated with the IPA. In there were approximately 3, individual members in 22 countries, speaking 18 different languages.

There are also 25 psychoanalytic societies. Until it was known as the National Membership Committee on Psychoanalysis. The organization was founded because although social workers represented the larger number of people who were training to be psychoanalysts, they were underrepresented as supervisors and teachers at the institutes they attended. It holds a bi-annual national conference and numerous annual local conferences.

Experiences of psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists and research into infant and child development have led to new insights. Theories have been further developed and the results of empirical research are now more integrated in the psychoanalytic theory. With the expansion of psychoanalysis in the United Kingdom the Society was renamed the British Psychoanalytical Society in These include: the training of psychoanalysts, the development of the theory and practice of psychoanalysis, the provision of treatment through The London Clinic of Psychoanalysis, the publication of books in The New Library of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Ideas.

The Institute of Psychoanalysis also publishes The International Journal of Psychoanalysis , maintains a library, furthers research, and holds public lectures. The society has a Code of Ethics and an Ethical Committee. The society, the institute and the clinic are all located at Byron House. The society is a component of the IPA, a body with members on all five continents that safeguards professional and ethical practice. All members of the British Psychoanalytical Society are required to undertake continuing professional development.

Sandler , and Donald Winnicott. The Institute of Psychoanalysis is the foremost publisher of psychoanalytic literature. The Society, in conjunction with Random House , will soon publish a new, revised and expanded Standard Edition. With the New Library of Psychoanalysis the Institute continues to publish the books of leading theorists and practitioners. Now in its 84th year, it has one of the largest circulations of any psychoanalytic journal. Over a hundred years of case reports and studies in the journal Modern Psychoanalysis , the Psychoanalytic Quarterly , the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association have analyzed the efficacy of analysis in cases of neurosis and character or personality problems.

Psychoanalysis modified by object relations techniques has been shown to be effective in many cases of ingrained problems of intimacy and relationship cf. Psychoanalytic treatment, in other situations, may run from about a year to many years, depending on the severity and complexity of the pathology. Psychoanalytic theory has, from its inception, been the subject of criticism and controversy. Freud remarked on this early in his career, when other physicians in Vienna ostracized him for his findings that hysterical conversion symptoms were not limited to women.

Challenges to analytic theory began with Otto Rank and Alfred Adler turn of the 20th century , continued with behaviorists e. Wolpe into the s and '50s, and have persisted e. Criticisms come from those who object to the notion that there are mechanisms, thoughts or feelings in the mind that could be unconscious. Criticisms also have been leveled against the idea of "infantile sexuality" the recognition that children between ages two and six imagine things about procreation.

Criticisms of theory have led to variations in analytic theories, such as the work of Ronald Fairbairn , Michael Balint , and John Bowlby. In the past 30 years or so, the criticisms have centered on the issue of empirical verification. Psychoanalysis has been used as a research tool into childhood development cf.

Most recently, psychoanalytic researchers who have integrated attachment theory into their work, including Alicia Lieberman, Susan Coates , and Daniel Schechter have explored the role of parental traumatization in the development of young children's mental representations of self and others. There are different forms of psychoanalysis and psychotherapies in which psychoanalytic thinking is practiced. Besides classical psychoanalysis there is for example psychoanalytic psychotherapy , a therapeutic approach which widens "the accessibility of psychoanalytic theory and clinical practices that had evolved over plus years to a larger number of individuals.

The psychoanalytic profession has been resistant to researching efficacy. A study found evidence of better long-term outcomes for depression after psychoanalysis. Meta-analyses in and found support or evidence for the efficacy of psychoanalytic therapy, thus further research is needed. In , the American Psychological Association made comparisons between psychodynamic treatment and a non-dynamic competitor and found that 6 were superior, 5 were inferior, 28 had no difference and 63 were adequate.

The study found that this could be used as a basis "to make psychodynamic psychotherapy an 'empirically validated' treatment. A meta-analysis of Long Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in found an overall effect size of. This study concluded the recovery rate following LTPP was equal to control treatments, including treatment as usual, and found the evidence for the effectiveness of LTPP to be limited and at best conflicting.

According to a French review conducted by INSERM , psychoanalysis was presumed or proven effective at treating panic disorder , post-traumatic stress and personality disorders. The world's largest randomized controlled trial on therapy with anorexia nervosa outpatients, the ANTOP-Study, published in The Lancet , found evidence that modified psychodynamic therapy is effective in increasing body mass index after a month treatment and that the effect is persistent until at least a year after concluding the treatment.

Relative to other treatments assigned, it was found to be as effective in increasing body mass index as cognitive behavioral therapy and as a standard treatment protocol which consisted of referral to a list of psychotherapists with experience in treating eating-disorders in addition to close monitoring and treatment by a family doctor. Furthermore, considering the outcome to be the recovery rate one year after the treatment, measured by the proportion of patients who no longer met the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa, modified psychodynamic therapy was found to be more effective than the standard treatment protocol and as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy.

A systematic review of the medical literature by the Cochrane Collaboration concluded that no data exist demonstrating that psychodynamic psychotherapy is effective in treating schizophrenia and severe mental illness, and cautioned that medication should always be used alongside any type of talk therapy in schizophrenia cases. Both Freud and psychoanalysis have been criticized in very extreme terms.

Early critics of psychoanalysis believed that its theories were based too little on quantitative and experimental research , and too much on the clinical case study method. Some have accused Freud of fabrication, most famously in the case of Anna O. Karl Popper argued that psychoanalysis is a pseudoscience because its claims are not testable and cannot be refuted; that is, they are not falsifiable. Indeed, they have refused to specify experimental conditions under which they would give up their basic assumptions. Scruton nevertheless concluded that psychoanalysis is not genuinely scientific, on the grounds that it involves an unacceptable dependence on metaphor.

Cognitive scientists , in particular, have also weighed in. Martin Seligman , a prominent academic in positive psychology wrote, "Thirty years ago, the cognitive revolution in psychology overthrew both Freud and the behaviorists, at least in academia. Kihlstrom [] have also criticized the field as pseudoscience. Richard Feynman wrote off psychoanalysts as mere "witch doctors":.

If you look at all of the complicated ideas that they have developed in an infinitesimal amount of time, if you compare to any other of the sciences how long it takes to get one idea after the other, if you consider all the structures and inventions and complicated things, the ids and the egos, the tensions and the forces, and the pushes and the pulls, I tell you they can't all be there. It's too much for one brain or a few brains to have cooked up in such a short time.

The psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey , in Witchdoctors and Psychiatrists , agreed that psychoanalytic theories have no more scientific basis than the theories of traditional native healers, "witchdoctors" or modern "cult" alternatives such as est. She scrutinized and rejected the validity of Freud's drive theory , including the Oedipus complex, which, according to her and Jeffrey Masson , blames the child for the abusive sexual behavior of adults. He concluded that there is little evidence to support the existence of the Oedipus complex.

Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze claimed that the institution of psychoanalysis has become a center of power and that its confessional techniques resemble the Christian tradition. The theoretical foundations of psychoanalysis lie in the same philosophical currents that lead to interpretive phenomenology rather than in those that lead to scientific positivism , making the theory largely incompatible with positivist approaches to the study of the mind.


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Although numerous studies have shown that the efficacy of therapy is primarily related to the quality of the therapist, [] rather than the school or technique or training, a French report from INSERM concluded that psychoanalytic therapy is less effective than other psychotherapies including cognitive behavioral therapy for certain diseases. This report used a meta-analysis of numerous other studies to find whether the treatment was "proven" or "presumed" to be effective on different diseases. An increasing amount of empirical research from academic psychologists and psychiatrists has begun to address this criticism.

However, these stages should not be viewed as crucial to modern psychoanalysis. What is crucial to modern psychoanalytic theory and practice is the power of the unconscious and the transference phenomenon. The idea of "unconscious" is contested because human behavior can be observed while human mental activity has to be inferred. However, the unconscious is now a popular topic of study in the fields of experimental and social psychology e. Recent developments in neuroscience have resulted in one side arguing that it has provided a biological basis for unconscious emotional processing in line with psychoanalytic theory i.

Shlomo Kalo explains that the scientific materialism that flourished in the 19th century severely harmed religion and rejected whatever called spiritual. The institution of the confession priest in particular was badly damaged. The empty void that this institution left behind was swiftly occupied by the newborn psychoanalysis.

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In his writings Kalo claims that psychoanalysis basic approach is erroneous. It represents the mainline wrong assumptions that happiness is unreachable and that the natural desire of a human being is to exploit his fellow men for his own pleasure and benefit. Jacques Derrida incorporated aspects of psychoanalytic theory into his theory of deconstruction in order to question what he called the ' metaphysics of presence '.

Derrida also turns some of these ideas against Freud, to reveal tensions and contradictions in his work.

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For example, although Freud defines religion and metaphysics as displacements of the identification with the father in the resolution of the Oedipal complex, Derrida insists in The Postcard: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond that the prominence of the father in Freud's own analysis is itself indebted to the prominence given to the father in Western metaphysics and theology since Plato.

Psychoanalysis continues to be practiced by psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health professionals; however, its practice has declined. In Bradley Peterson, a psychoanalyst, child psychiatrist and the director of the Institute for the Developing Mind at Children's Hospital Los Angeles , said, "I think most people would agree that psychoanalysis as a form of treatment is on its last legs".

For session frequency, Hinshelwood, Robert D. Hinshelwood, and Jean-Marie Gauthier eds. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Important figures. Important works. Schools of thought. Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. Main article: Culturalist psychoanalysts. Main article: Robert Langs. The strongest reason for considering Freud a pseudo-scientist is that he claimed to have tested — and thus to have provided the most cogent grounds for accepting — theories which are either untestable or even if testable had not been tested.

It is spurious claims to have tested an untestable or untested theory which are the most pertinent grounds for deeming Freud and his followers pseudoscientists Many aspects of Freudian theory are indeed out of date, and they should be: Freud died in , and he has been slow to undertake further revisions.

His critics, however, are equally behind the times, attacking Freudian views of the s as if they continue to have some currency in their original form. Psychodynamic theory and therapy have evolved considerably since when Freud's bearded countenance was last sighted in earnest. Contemporary psychoanalysts and psychodynamic therapists no longer write much about ids and egos, nor do they conceive of treatment for psychological disorders as an archaeological expedition in search of lost memories.

The science of psychoanalysis is the bedrock of psychodynamic understanding and forms the fundamental theoretical frame of reference for a variety of forms of therapeutic intervention, embracing not only psychoanalysis itself but also various forms of psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy and related forms of therapy using psychodynamic concepts. However, its limitations are more widely recognized and it is assumed that many important advances in the future will come from other areas, particularly biologic psychiatry.

As yet unresolved is the appropriate role of psychoanalytic thinking in organizing the treatment of patients and the training of psychiatrists after that biologic revolution has born fruit. Will treatments aimed at biologic defects or abnormalities become technical steps in a program organized in a psychoanalytic framework? Will psychoanalysis serve to explain and guide supportive intervention for individuals whose lives are deformed by biologic defect and therapeutic interventions, much as it now does for patients with chronic physical illness, with the psychoanalyst on the psychiatric dialysis program?

Or will we look back on the role of psychoanalysis in the treatment of the seriously mentally ill as the last and most scientifically enlightened phase of the humanistic tradition in psychiatry, a tradition that became extinct when advances in biology allowed us to cure those we had so long only comforted? Of course, one is supposed to answer that it is many things — a theory, a research method, a therapy, a body of knowledge. In what might be considered an unfortunately abbreviated description, Freud said that anyone who recognizes transference and resistance is a psychoanalyst, even if he comes to conclusions other than his own.

I prefer to think of the analytic situation more broadly, as one in which someone seeking help tries to speak as freely as he can to someone who listens as carefully as he can with the aim of articulating what is going on between them and why. David Rapaport a once defined the analytic situation as carrying the method of interpersonal relationship to its last consequences. A Short Introduction to Psychoanalysis. SAGE, , Penguin Books, , Kaplan and Sadock's Synopsis of Psychiatry. For point 7, Chessick, Richard D. Introductions [ edit ] Brenner, Charles An Elementary Textbook of Psychoanalysis.

Elliott, Anthony Pharmacological psychiatry is a relatively young field. The clinical practice of selecting the right medication to make therapeutic synaptic modifications is, by and large, a trial and error business. It can take several weeks for therapeutic effects to be noticed. Therapeutic effects are often dose dependent, which means that dosage may need to be systematically increased.

Neural network models enable us to see how psychology changes biology because the memory formation process that drives learning and all psychological development modifies synapses through experience-dependent plasticity neuroscience mechanisms. This knowledge enables to understand that modifying synapses pharmacologically will also change our psychology.

The causal role of synapses in learning and memory make them the missing link in psychobiology and biopsychology. I predict that psychology will organize around the synapse when it becomes a mature natural science just as biology organized around the cell when it became a mature natural science. Subsequent blogs will present more by way of fascinating new developments—stay tuned. Carlson, N. Psychology: The science of behavior 7th ed. Kirsch, I. Initial severity and antidepressant benefits: A meta-analysis of data submitted to the Food and Drug Administration.

PLoS Medicine, 5, Prevention and treatment, Vol. McClelland, J.

Psychology’s 10 Greatest Case Studies – Digested

Parallel distributed processing: Explorations in the microstructure of cognition , Vol. Rumelhart, D. Parallel distributed processing: Explorations in the microstructure of cognition, Vol. Tryon, W. Cognitive neuroscience and psychotherapy: Network Principles for a Unified Theory. New York: Academic Press. If I asked you how to a computer game worked, and you told be that the processor has memory and stuff was stored there, I would say you are missing the point, which you would be, and you are now.

Sure you can delete stuff from memory and it will effect how a person acts. If I'm playing poker and you delete the rule about matching suits give me a Flush, I may never try to do that, but that doesn't change the point of the game, to try to get the best hand possible. Goals determine behavior. While experience may show you the best way to go about achieving the goal and genetics biology may give you potentials and limits, the envisioned end result is key to determining behavior.

Imagine your friend is driving a car. How do you know which turns he will make? Is it genetically predetermined that he will go one way or another? If you know his destination, you can easily guess which way he will go. Certainly, memory and experience confirm his choices. If you delete his memory of how to get home, you have affected his ability to get home, but that doesn't matter until he wishes to get home. Thank you Dr. Tryon for your post, for I find it very direct and clear about the importance of understanding biological components and their interactions which support all behavior.

Machine Intelligence and Cognitive Psychological Science. Instinct involves inherited behavior. How can behaviors be inherited? Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Numerous similar examples are readily available. Again, such statements that psychological events are nothing more than brain events, for all their recent popularity, are logical errors. Psychological pathology is not neural pathology. Redefining terms to avoid fundamental conceptual problems does not advance science. Such terms could be arrayed along ordinal scales of imageability and vagueness.

To borrow a judgment from C. These and similar construals, now commonplace, typically convey that biological phenomena are somehow more fundamental than psychological phenomena, a view criticized long ago by Jessor , p. What can now be called the Decades of the Brain Miller, have thus brought us another such surge. This might be seen as progress from the Web page for the NIMH Clinical Neuroscience Research Branch, quoted above, which equated psychological and biological disorders.

In , they are at least treated as distinct entities. But this notion of neural basis, implying reduction of psychological events to biological events, is not viable either. This bold claim says that no amount of correlation suffices to establish causation, which is fair enough. But it goes further and says that we have to identify the neural mechanism by which stress causes depression to be sure that stress causes depression.

That precludes any possibility of a purely psychological account of stress fostering psychologically or biologically conceived depression. Yet this stance also assumes that there could be psychological stressors that affect biology, without explaining how. At some early point in the causal chain, events apparently would be thought of as psychological, and at some later point they would be thought of as biological. Where is the transition, and how does it work? These opening words in a Science article imply that we must choose between psychological and biological accounts, that biological stories can be adequate accounts of psychological phenomena political views , and that cognitive neuroscience data here, electrodermal response and blink amplitude can establish such an account.

In fact, they provide no information at all about the nature of such processes. The mechanism by which biological factors would drive the attitudes is not addressed. It has long been clear that both pharmacological and psychological treatments can lead to changes in brain activity and, in some cases, the same changes in brain activity. For example, Baxter et al.

Borkovec, Ray, and Stober found that psychotherapy normalized excessive EEG beta-band activity recorded over the left frontal cortex. Cognitive behavior therapy normalized hypoactive anterior cingulate cortex Goldapple et al. Using MEG to study the functional anatomy of sensorimotor cortex in musicians undergoing treatment for focal hand dystonia, Candia, Wienbruch, Elbert, Rockstroh, and Ray reported that the representational cortex can be modified by successful behavior therapy.

Kolassa and Elbert provided a review of studies of PTSD-related trauma as an apparent driver of neural plasticity. Schienle, Schaefer, Stark, and Vaitl demonstrated fMRI-recorded brain changes as a function of cognitive behavior therapy for phobia, and Felmingham et al. McNab et al. Popov, Jordanov, Rockstroh, Elbert, Merzenich, and Miller showed MEG-recorded brain changes as a function of auditory discrimination training in schizophrenia. These are a few of the many examples of psychological events apparently driving biological phenomena.

Thousands of studies show psychophysiological relationships psychological independent variables, physiological dependent variables. As a premise for cognitive, affective, and clinical neuroscience, it is not self-evident that biological data underlie psychological data, or that mental disorders have a neural basis. Biological data provide valuable information about psychological phenomena that may not be obtainable with self-report or overt behavioral measures Lang, , but public biological data are not inherently more fundamental, more accurate, more representative, or even more objective than public psychological data.

The reductionism implicit in common uses of underlying warrants some explication. The reduced concept thus becomes unnecessary. This is sometimes more specifically called eliminative reductionism , distinct from less thoroughgoing types; see France et al. Ross and Spurrett went on to argue specifically against the assumption that other sciences can be reduced to physics:. Most types of entities and relations that feature in interesting scientific generalizations in [other] sciences do not decompose into types and relations featuring in generalizations of fundamental physics.

All that the state of current science justifies in this philosophical neighbourhood is the weaker principle that physics provides constraints on other sciences p. It is important to note in this analysis of the notion of mechanism in psychopathology that identification of explanatory mechanisms is not reductionistic C. Rather than serving to reduce one level to another, mechanisms bridge levels.

Mechanistic explanations relate levels, but the relation proposed contrasts sharply with philosophical accounts of intertheoretic reduction that relate levels in terms of the reduction of pairwise theories. Two general distinctions are helpful here. First, Fodor distinguished between contingent and necessary identity in the relationship between psychological and biological phenomena. A person in any given psychological state is momentarily in some biological state as well. Fodor characterized this as a contingent identity between the psychological and the biological.

In such a relationship, the psychological phenomenon implemented in a given neural structure or circuit is not the same as, is not accounted for by, and is not reducible to that circuit Fodor, ; Jessor, There is likely an indefinite set of potential neural implementations of a given psychological phenomenon. Conversely, a given neural circuit may implement different psychological functions at different times or in different individuals. It appears that distinct psychological and biological theories are needed to explain phenomena in each of these domains, and additional theoretical work is needed to relate them.

If, for example, the meaning of the traditionally psychological term fear is entirely representable in language about autonomic physiology, we do not need the psychological term fear. We might retain such a psychological term as a convenience, but logically it is unnecessary. If a term has no content or meaning beyond other terms in combination with the operations on those terms by which the term is defined, it is said to be an intervening variable Hempel, For example, the statistical standard deviation of a sample contains no information not in the sample from which it is computed.

Critically, hypothetical constructs about which one makes inferences based on public data are not, in general, reducible to intervening variables. If fear is just an intervening variable, a mere summary of other things with no meaning beyond those other things, then it is plausible to delete it from our vocabulary. The present contention is that claims that fear or psychosis or depression are just chemical imbalances or are genetic are untenable.

We use terms such as fear or psychosis, depression, aspiration, shy, aggressive, attachment, etc. Prior to the era of infatuations with neuroimaging and the human genome, this was widely understood, as articulated in the widely cited paper on fear by Lang By analogy, the concept of a mousetrap is such that building a better one necessarily involves reaching beyond the traps already invented. What the concept refers to is larger than any such tally. It is a hypothetical construct, not an intervening variable. The amygdala appears to be crucially involved in fear M.

But the amygdala is not the neural basis of fear, and its neighbor the hippocampus does not underlie memory. In a given case—perhaps even in all imaginable cases of conventional humans—there may be a contingent identity between memory encoding and hippocampal activity. That does not mean that we can reduce memory encoding to hippocampal activity. The latter is simply not what we mean by the former.

The argument here is not that it is merely inconvenient to enumerate all possible instances of memory encoding, so that we keep the concept around merely as a convenience. The argument is that no amount of enumeration of brain states or brain processes can fully capture what we mean by memory encoding see also Aron et al.


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  4. Furthermore, the present argument is not that we do not yet know how to do the enumeration or how to represent every instance of memory encoding in terms of hippocampal or other brain events. The argument is that memory encoding refers to nothing about brains at all, though what it refers to is routinely implemented in brains.

    In fact, at some future time we may have the brain story so well worked out that we focus our efforts on controlling allergens, gene expression, or physical deprivation as a way to manipulate hippocampal function. We may no longer have much use for a psychological theory of hippocampal function. But a theory about gene expression or hippocampal function cannot be a complete theory of memory encoding, because memory encoding is a psychological phenomenon. It never was and never could be a theory of the whole of schizophrenia.

    It was a theory of how biochemistry goes awry in schizophrenia. It did not provide a mechanism for how biochemistry could account for the fundamentally psychological features of schizophrenia. It could not, because we have not identified a causal bridge between biochemistry and psychological phenomena such as delusions, and there may not be a causal bridge to find. Dolan , p. What we can aim for is a neurobiological account of what the brain and the periphery are doing in emotion.

    Surely that goal is intriguing and valuable, but it could not be a full account of emotion, which is a psychological construct. In stating that a Turing machine stores information, we have accepted that the implementation of such a machine is at most tangentially relevant and not defining, because the definition of a Turing machine depends not in the least on any physical implementation.

    In fact, we could conceive of a Turing machine even if we could not conceive of building one. We conceive of unicorns, though we believe that there are no unicorns. Not only do we not need to have an actual implementation of a hypothetical construct to conceive it, we do not even have to be able to implement it in principle. Thus, working out an instance of the implementation of, say, memory encoding in the brain does not reduce memory encoding to brain events.

    We have identified a contingent identity, not a necessary identity. One does not have depression because one has a chemical balance, one has a chemical imbalance because one is depressed, just as one gasps at the view because it is beautiful ne does not find the view beautiful because one gasps. Psychology is thus where one should work in order to explain psychopathology, with biological measures of interest merely to the extent that they inform the psychological theorizing.

    A consequence is that cognitive theory can evolve without the constraints of biological plausibility. As suggested not seriously! The American Psychological Association attempted to declare — the Decade of Behavior without much impact. Emphasizing brain over behavior remains far more captivating of the public imagination. It is not that psychology is a softer science.

    In fact it is harder Meehl, ; Miller, , and apparently it is too hard to embrace consistently and coherently. With the growing impact of psychophysiological measures such as fMRI, PET, EEG, MEG, and optical neuroimaging, it has become commonplace to say that biological events underlie are more fundamental than psychological events e.

    This is a pervasive but unsatisfactory way to characterize the relationship between biological and psychological concepts or events. It is not as obviously indefensible logically as is saying depression is a chemical imbalance, but it still takes too much as given. The levels of analysis notion has some problems. There is no consensus on this see C.

    What are they levels of? What is the thing being analyzed, and what levels does it have? Then, what is the relationship between levels? Of particular interest here, what are the causal mechanisms between levels, if any? Without explicating those points, the levels of analysis notion is a nice metaphor in place of a substantive position. It is valuable in preventing us from collapsing together domains that are logically distinct, but it does not tell us how to connect them, how or whether to make inferences across them.

    Terms like biobehavioral and biopsychosocial at least acknowledge the broad span of relevant phenomena with diverse, noncollapsible facets, but they do not take any stand on the relationships among those phenomena. The levels metaphor is gently appealing, seeming to allow all subfields some space at the trough. But it is not by itself satisfactory Jessor, ; Marshall, ; Rose, , p. It does not convey what constitutes a level and says nothing about the nature of the relationships across levels.

    Such relationships need to be articulated, else invocation of the levels metaphor accomplishes nothing beyond establishing placeholders that may not hold. Thus, simply enumerating levels, without articulating the mechanistic relations among them, is not offering much. The term underlying can be understood in terms of the levels metaphor: each level underlies the one above. But again simply asserting that there are levels says little. The recent psychophysiological literature provides many other examples in which notions such as underlying and levels beg crucial questions. As noted above, rather than attributing mood changes to activity in specific brain regions, why not attribute changes in brain activity to changes in mood?

    Pronouncements that there are levels or assertions about what underlies what do not help with these questions. In fact, it is not clear that causation is a fruitful characterization of these psychological—biological relationships D. Yet another common approach is to say that psychological and biological phenomena interact.

    Such a claim begs the question of how they interact and even what it means to interact. Across all such instances, there may be some consistency in the neural activity. The psychological—biological interaction view is essentially a variant of the levels metaphor and is no more of a solution. A variety of other characterizations of the biology—psychology relationship appear in scholarly and popular literature, implying a link without providing an explicit mechanism or even a hint that there might be a mechanism that would define and establish the link , such as biological events mediating psychological events e.

    Marshall provided a very scholarly treatment of these issues and discussed a concept of embodiment as a way to relate psychological and biological phenomena. Kendler b , Lilienfeld , Turkheimer et al. They proposed the following:.

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    We may well need a new lexicon of constructs that are neither simply anatomical e. Brodmann area 44 nor psychological e. If that is to be a viable path for the field, we are desperately in need of those new constructs. The levels of analysis notion and its cousins do not appear sufficient to shoulder the work.

    While faulting a number of terms characterizing the relationship between psychology and biology, the term implement was repeatedly used. This relationship would be the same as that of an algorithm spelled out in software and implemented in hardware. Similarly, there would be no depressed person without a corporeal person to be depressed. Every instance of depression might involve some chemical imbalance—perhaps even a consistent sort of chemical imbalance, perhaps providing a common, contingent identity. But even a very consistent chemical imbalance would not entail a necessary identity between definitively psychological depression and biochemistry.

    This notion of implementation avoids naive reductionism. So, how does this implementation occur? Once again, what are the mechanisms? The implementation notion as a characterization of the relationship between psychological and biological events is both safe and unsatisfactory because it claims and offers little. Similarly, psychological events have sometimes been described as epiphenomena of biological events. Neural events are sometimes said to support psychological events. These construals do not appear to be problematic, but they also say nothing about mechanism, so they do not resolve present concerns.

    One can have theories about either software or hardware without paying any attention to the other domain. A core appeal of the concept of a Turing machine is its hardware independence. A scholar can do perfectly good theorizing about software or psychology without in the least considering the silicon or carbon hardware that might implement it. Circuit-board feasibility or biological plausibility is not a precondition of theorizing about software or psychological algorithms. In fact, it may often be crucial to push such theorizing well beyond what seems feasible to implement, in part to provide inspiration and guidance to those who develop the implementations.

    With that independence, it becomes clear that not only s there no necessary relationship between the software and the hardware but ne can employ the distinction without any comprehension of how to get from one to the other. Nevertheless, specifics of the psychology—biology bridging mechanisms are sorely needed in biological research on psychopathology, if the Decades of the Brain are not to lead us any farther astray. The term implementation provides no hint of mechanism, in terms of how hardware or software biochemistry or depression cause each other.

    Thus, the notion of implementation does not deliver. It may be an appealing construal of what hardware does with software or what the brain and immune and endocrine and autonomic systems do about psychology, but it is not an account of the translation from software to hardware or from psychological phenomena to biological phenomena. The notion of implementation as a candidate for characterizing psychology—biology relationships is inadequate, as are all other concepts reviewed here.

    Implementation, support, epiphenomenon, and functionalism have the virtue of not ignoring important boundaries and distinctions and might suffice if we were give up the goal of accounting for or even just allowing causation to occur between biology and psychology, but such causation seems to be a premise of the Decades of the Brain. Whether it is a necessary premise is questionable. Ross and Spurrett b advocated a functionalism that does not rely on a conventional notion of causation from below and argued that we should look for causation or, perhaps with less baggage, explanation, or even just the discovery of regularities in nature in higher level if one likes the levels metaphor or more global dynamics as much as we do in lower level, underlying dynamics.

    Redhead went further, arguing against needing a concept of causation in science at all. The implication for the present critique is that there are a variety of reasons to question a biological-reductionism approach to causation that dismisses psychological phenomena and seeks to replace them with biological phenomena. Meanwhile, the notions of implementation, support, and their modest cousins seem to be the best we can do for now. In any case, let us choose our verbs carefully, mindful of the baggage they bring the less baggage, the better.

    Aspects of the foregoing critiques apply to much of the basis for recent enthusiasm about exciting advances in neuroimaging methods. There is much less consensus about which neural generator s produce the electrical activity or about what distinct? In many cases, neural sources are difficult or impossible to identify with confidence from scalp EEG alone. If we understand the distinct functional significance of various neural generators of P, and if only some generators are compromised in schizophrenia, this can inform us about the nature of not just the biological deficits in schizophrenia but cognitive and affective deficits.

    This is the case even if we have not fully worked out the neural circuitry that produces or underlies P Thus, functional interpretations of P may tell us things—psychological things—that we do not get from traditional psychological measures. Conversely, what we know about cognitive and affective deficits can inform us about the function of the different neural generators, not only in patients but in general. Nevertheless, such neuroimaging phenomena do not underlie and are not the basis of the psychological phenomena that define the functions invoked in P tasks.

    To make this case by example, memory deficits are well established in schizophrenia e. But a memory encoding deficit in schizophrenia cannot be located in a specific brain region. My colleagues and I have provided consistent evidence of a lateralized hippocampal deficit in schizophrenia involving relational memory, using a combination of MEG and sMRI to locate deep brain activity Hanlon et al. The findings were replicated with new participants run on a different MEG machine, using a different MEG source localization algorithm, and cross-validated spatially with a different functional imaging method fMRI; see Fig.

    The MEG portion of the work also provided information on the time course of the neural abnormality at a granularity conventional fMRI cannot provide. But this program of research has not demonstrated that the memory deficit is located in the hippocampus. Memory deficits are not the sort of thing that are located anywhere in space. Memory deficits are functional impairments that are conceived in cognitive, computational, and overt behavioral terms, not in biological terms.

    Illustration of localization of task-specific and hemisphere-specific hippocampal activity during nonverbal and verbal variants of a transverse-patterning TP task in four nonpatient and four patient individuals. Upper panel: MEG-based localization each row is one subject. Controls showed consistent lateralization as a function of task. Patients showed less consistent activation. Lower panel: fMRI-based localization, in which blue arrows point to hippocampal activation, lateralized as a function of task combined analysis for three nonpatients and four patients.

    Figure is adapted from Hanlon et al. The dominant discourse convention in the Decades of the Brain, however, says otherwise. It has now become possible to localize mental functions to particular sets of regions…. There are two problems in these statements from a Nobel Prize winner and a past president of the Society for Neuroscience. The lesser problem is the implication that scientists were not able to associate specific functions with specific brain regions until recently.

    But this has been possible, in various forms, for decades. It misleads the public to think that we are finally on the verge of a decisive breakthrough—often the decisive breakthrough in some area—when in fact most progress is incremental. The more important problem with the statement is the claim that we can localize function at all. As argued above, mental events are not the sort of thing that has a spatial location. What we can do increasingly often and increasingly well is localize in space a portion of the tissue that seems differentially associated with mental events.

    Functions do not have location. Unfortunately, counting on localizing things that cannot have a location is not confined to the scholarly literature. A social psychology paper in Science ran two interacting participants in MRI scanners simultaneously, with the key fMRI finding that, as trust developed between the two participants, caudate nucleus activation occurred earlier in the trial King-Casas et al. So, neuroimaging can localize, in the brain, a psychological phenomenon such as trust?

    Again, fortunately, King-Casas et al. It is unimaginable in modern cognitive neuroscience, however, that there is a single brain region responsible for self-control. The rampant misconstrual in the popular press of what neuroimaging studies show is drawing increasing critical attention. The following is from a prominent complaint signed by 17 scholars Aron et al. As cognitive neuroscientists who use the same brain imaging technology, we know that it is not possible to definitively determine whether a person is anxious or feeling connected simply by looking at activity in a particular brain region.

    This is so because brain regions are typically engaged by many mental states, and thus a one-to-one mapping between a brain region and a mental state is not possible. Trust decisions and political attitudes do not occur in the brain. Decisions, feelings, perceptions, delusions, memories do not have a spatial location. We image brain events: electromagnetic, hemodynamic, and optical. We do not image, and cannot localize in space, psychological constructs. We can make inferences about the latter from the former, using bridge principles that connect observable data and hypothetical constructs.

    But the latter are not the former. What inferences we want to make about the mind based on such data are our constructions, not our observations. Aspects of the foregoing critiques apply to recent enthusiasm about prospects for research on the human genome. The work of some genetic mechanisms seems at present best understood as a simple, monolithic unfolding, the straightforward path of a single gene or set of genes, essentially like Mendel and his peas let us use gene here to mean any non-null set of genes that for present purposes functions as a unit—a convenient red herring.

    Ziga, www. Often the implication is more than that a gene or set of genes does not have just a nontrivial perhaps central, perhaps even necessary or sufficient causal role, but that the relevant genetic story is essentially the entire story. In fact, however, the story is not so simple, even when it is a lot simpler than it probably is for psychopathology.

    There might be a single, dominant gene for Type A blood, but to have Type A blood one must have blood, which we do not attribute to that same gene, and to have blood there must be water, which we do not attribute to genes at all. For a particular gene to work i.

    Some things are not genetic, in the sense that water is not genetic: It contains no genes, nor does its existence depend on genetic mechanisms. At stake are both substantive, conceptual material about the relationship between psychological and biological phenomena and pragmatic or even political issues about scientific priorities, including research funding priorities and health-care policy.

    Berenbaum compellingly addressed the substantive issue:. Although genes will never be sufficient to explain schizophrenia, it is conceivable that a gene or small set of genes will be found to be necessary for the development of schizophrenia. Even if this turns out to be the case, however, the identified gene or set of genes would not constitute an explanation of schizophrenia. The inability of a gene to explain schizophrenia is illustrated in the model of schizophrenia proposed by Meehl Meehl posits that there is a single major gene that is necessary, but not sufficient, for the development of schizophrenia.

    The rapidly growing scientific and popular literature on the human genome has promoted the indefensible belief that genes can and eventually will provide an essentially sufficient explanation of psychological dysfunction Miller et al. When there are both genetic and environmental differences, most of the mechanisms through which genes exert their causal influences on behavior are not the straightforward one gene—one bit of trait association one learns about in high-school biology.

    Instead, much gene expression is contingent on the presence of other gene products, environmental circumstances, and prior levels of gene expression, sometimes even in prior generations. It follows that the typical diathesis-stress model, wherein genes are the diathesis and environment is the stressor, can be inverted.

    Walker outlined the cycle by which psychological environment can affect gene expression, a story available for some time e. The chain of events typically involves an environmental event that triggers a neurohumoral response that alters turns on or off the transcription of RNA and, thereby, the production of proteins that control other cellular and systematic processes, which, in turn, may affect behavior. It is somewhat ironic that advances in molecular genetics may prove to have been a major impetus to increased status for behavioral science. In light of these considerations, what does a common term such as genetic basis e.

    A close parallel to the critique earlier about the concept of neural basis applies fully here. In addition to that logical case against such terms, the empirical story about the role of genes in mental illness appears particularly bleak. Not that there is no role—it is clear that there is a substantial role. But it will not be simple to identify, let alone manipulate. Twin and adoption studies provide compelling evidence of significant genetic effects in virtually all major psychiatric disorders Kendler, a and, indeed, throughout psychology Johnson et al.

    Yet no specific gene has been identified for any major psychiatric disorder, despite many candidate genes and many studies Abdolmaleky et al. Kendler a provided a compelling case against virtually any simple genetic story in mental illness. The magnitude of the association between such events and the subsequent depressive episode is far greater than that observed for any of the genes that we have reviewed here.

    The impact of individual genes on risk for psychiatric illness is small, often nonspecific, and embedded in causal pathways of stunning complexity. It is important to repeat that the critique is not that there are no genes involved in psychopathology. Turkheimer offered a particularly striking case in reflecting on just what the nature of the gene contribution to psychopathology is likely to be.

    This is not an argument against genes mattering—genes surely matter greatly. It is an argument against our readily being able to nail down the contributions to the mechanisms and against common assumptions in such research to date and in popular-press coverage of it. The previously discussed Oxley et al.

    This appears to be a potentially valid line of argument. Why did genes end up in this story? Not because such a role is plausible. An environment contribution is just as plausible. Why cite the one and not the other or, better yet, their combination? Yet heritability is not defined for genes. It is defined for genes in a particular population in a particular environment Johnson et al. Davis, Haworth, and Plomin reported a two- to threefold change in heritability of the latent intelligence factor g in a large twin cohort over the short time span from early childhood to middle childhood.

    It is not a very interesting sense. On what does the heritability depend? And what are the mechanisms of the contributions of genes to normal and abnormal psychological function? Presumably the change in heritability over a few years in the O. Davis et al. Very likely, it was also not due to environment alone. Their combination in various forms matters. What are the mechanisms by which genes and environments cause behavior, if indeed causation is a sensible way to describe the relationship of genes, environments, and behavior?

    Not every study can tackle every question, but so many modern reports are written as if to dismiss so many crucial questions. The same neglect of contributions from anything other than simple Mendelian genetic effects is readily apparent in popular media. There is no gene for understanding calculus. But genes do shape behavior and personality, and they do so by creating brain structures and functions that favor certain abilities and appetites more than others.

    Why are they not cited here as well? Of course, the present contention is that there is no physical basis for psychological phenomena. There can be a contingent identity, but what could physical basis mean that makes basis the right term? Reductionism looms around every corner.

    A regular New York Times columnist lamented this problem without realizing how regularly it arises in his own newspaper:. Science sections are filled with articles on how brain structure influences things like lust and learning…. Why is this not widely known, even among relevant scientists, let alone journalists and their readers? It is not hard to grasp, unless one is blinded by premises of a naive biological determinism, with the genome underlying and inexorably driving everything else. Once we accept that basically everything—not only schizophrenia and intelligence, but also marital status and television watching—is heritable, it becomes clear that specific estimates of heritability are not very important.

    The real implications of heritability lie not in questions of relative biological determinism but in revealing the need to understand both the mechanisms through which the individual, whether consciously or not, directs his or her own life course and his or her power to do so. Johnson et al. People can disagree about what suffices to demonstrate causality e. Redhead , p. The present concern is not the logical conditions for deducing that a causal relationship likely exists.

    The present concern is that it has become commonplace to assert naively reductionist causation in the absence of discovery of anything approaching an adequate mechanism of that causation. Claims that mental illness is genes or biochemistry, or that it is essentially determined by them, have become rampant. We sorely need to identify the psychological mechanisms, the biological mechanisms, and the full chain of their relationship s before taking a stand on how much of the chain is psychological or biological or genetic vs.

    At present, absent the mechanisms, our field makes an awful lot of assumptions about mechanisms especially of psychopathology when only mere correlations are available for the most part. And, as stated earlier, it should be remembered that, when one is trying to understand inherently psychological phenomena, having only the relevant biological mechanisms is, at best, very incomplete. When pressed, many in our field would insist that they are not naive reductionists and that they do not mean that depression is only biochemical or that schizophrenia is only genetic.

    Then why say or imply such things? At least two factors contribute, beyond the pull discussed by France et al. For some years highly regarded patient advocacy groups have pressed for a narrowed focus on biological factors, often fostering the same naive reductionism critiqued above. This pressure 7 is unquestionably well intentioned but misguided, and it is often motivated in part by the assumption that biological construals of mental illness reduce stigma. Such a prediction would make sense if people tend to be held less responsible for their biology than for their psychology.

    Why that should be the case is not apparent: Although such a notion of differential responsibility is commonplace, it is not obvious that we have less control over our biology than over our psychology. Deacon and Baird showed that biological explanations can actually foster pessimism about prognosis and psychosocial treatment. Furthermore, R. Wright , Pinker , and others have written of the huge legal and social-policy problems such a stance creates and of the pervasive confusion and injustice that results from legal 8 and policy positions that are inconsistent on this important issue of responsibility.

    They are a small minority among and competing with numerous other NIH Institutes and Centers, the center of gravity for which are disorders traditionally conceived as biological. Given the widespread premise that biological science is more respectable and more fruitful than psychological science, 9 NIMH and NIDA place themselves at a political disadvantage to the extent that they publicize that their primary phenomena are psychological. There are a variety of off-the-record indications that NIMH and NIDA staff have a much more sophisticated understanding of the psychology biology relationship, in both theory and data, than what the public faces of these two institutes convey.

    To the extent that they show those cards, they risk losing leverage for funding and policy direction.