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Psychoanalysis and the Two Cerebral Hemispheres

Fred M. Levin and D.M. Vuckovich
The Annual of Psychoanalysis, Vol 11, 1983, 171-197.


Reviews recent neurological knowledge of the two cerebral hemispheres and the implications of bicameral structure and functions for psychoanalysis. The onset and pattern of myelinization of the interhemispheral tracts are discussed as they relate to the Oedipal phase. Hypoconnection states and data on hemispheric idiosyncracies also are examined, and it is suggested that topographic and structural psychoanalytical models are entirely compatible with the latest neurological understanding of the bicameral brain. Following a discussion of Freud's work on aphasia and primary and secondary process, the bridging role of the metaphor in the analyst's transference interpretations is discussed. How this bridging of metaphor applies specifically to states of disordered connection of the two hemispheres is described, and neuropsychiatric hypotheses of disavowal and repression are presented. Clinical examples of communication from and with the bicameral mind are presented, and it is suggested that in the psychoanalytic situation the analyst may serve as a functional linkage between the two hemispheres.