Mark Solms

Mark Solms
University of Cape Town | UCT

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124
Publications
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Publications

Publications (124)
Article
In recent decades, the research traditions of (first-person) embodied cognition and of (third-person) social cognition have approached the study of self-awareness with relative independence. However, neurological disorders of self-awareness offer a unifying perspective to empirically investigate the contribution of embodiment and social cognition t...
Article
It gives me great pleasure to respond to Otto Kernberg’s commentary on my “New Project for a Scientific Psychology” (2020 Solms, M. (2020). New project for a scientific psychology: General scheme. Neuropsychoanalysis, 22(1-2), 5–35. https://doi.org/10.1080/15294145.2020.1833361[Taylor & Francis Online] , [Google Scholar]). It is gratifying to recei...
Article
This revision concerns primarily the biological origin of the Oedipus complex, classically understood as an inherited primal phantasy. However, a reconceptualization of the origin of what Freud called the nuclear complex of the neuroses also has consequences for understanding its nature. A review of current knowledge relevant to the biological mech...
Preprint
In recent decades, the research traditions of (first-person) embodied cognition and of (third-person) social cognition have approached the study of self-awareness with relative independence. However, neurological disorders of self-awareness offer a unifying perspective to empirically investigate the contribution of embodiment and social cognition t...
Book
Full-text available
In the past few decades, we have accumulated an impressive amount of knowledge regarding the neural basis of the mind. One of the most important sources of this knowledge has been the in-depth study of individuals with focal brain damage and other neurological disorders. This book offers a unique perspective, in that it uses a combination of neurop...
Article
Full-text available
Peripersonal space (PPS) is the space immediately surrounding the body, conceptualised as a sensory-motor interface between body and environment. PPS size differs between individuals and contexts, with intrapersonal traits and states, as well as social factors having a determining role on the size of PPS. Testosterone plays an important role in reg...
Article
Full-text available
According to the predictive processing framework, perception is geared to represent the environment in terms of embodied action opportunities as opposed to objective truth. Here, we argue that such an optimisation is reflected by biases in expectations (i.e., prior predictive information) that facilitate ‘useful’ inferences of external sensory caus...
Article
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Dream reports collected after rapid eye movement sleep (REM) awakenings are, on average, longer, more vivid, bizarre, emotional and story-like compared to those collected after non-REM. However, a comparison of the word-to-word structural organization of dream reports is lacking, and traditional measures that distinguish REM and non-REM dreaming ma...
Preprint
Full-text available
Peripersonal space (PPS) is the space immediately surrounding the body, conceptualised as a sensory-motor interface between body and environment. PPS size differs between individuals and contexts, with intrapersonal traits and states, as well as social factors having a determining role on the size of PPS. Testosterone plays an important role in reg...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dream reports collected after rapid eye movement sleep (REM) awakenings are, on average, longer, more vivid, bizarre, emotional and story-like compared to those collected after non-REM. However, a comparison of the word-to-word structural organization of dream reports is lacking, and traditional measures that distinguish REM and non-REM dreaming ma...
Article
The term ‘neuropsychoanalysis’ was introduced in 1999, but a concerted effort to integrate the findings of neuroscience with those of psychoanalysis began in 1986. The following is a commentary on the five essays published in this special issue, from the viewpoint of someone who worked under this banner from the outset. Alongside Antonio Damasio, w...
Article
Full-text available
The Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) is an experimental paradigm for assessing changes in body ownership. Recent findings in the field suggest that social emotions can influence such changes and that empathic motivation in particular appears to positively predict the malleability of body representations. Since the steroid hormone, testosterone, is well k...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Dreaming is a universal experience, yet there is considerable inter-individual variability in dream recall frequency (DRF). One dominant model, the "arousal-retrieval" model, posits that intra-sleep wakefulness is required for dream traces to be encoded into long-term storage, essentially proposing that a better memory for dreams underl...
Article
Full-text available
This article applies the free energy principle to the hard problem of consciousness. After clarifying some philosophical issues concerning functionalism, it identifies the elemental form of consciousness as affect and locates its physiological mechanism (an extended form of homeostasis) in the upper brainstem. This mechanism is then formalized in t...
Article
Neuroimaging studies have repeatedly shown amygdala activity during sleep (REM and NREM). Consequently, various theorists propose central roles for the amygdala in dreaming – particularly in the generation of dream affects, which seem to play a major role in dream plots. However, a causal role for the amygdala in dream phenomena has never been demo...
Article
This paper is a combined and edited version of two oral presentations by the authors in 2016, under the titles “A case which challenges the neuropsychoanalytic theory of repression” (at the Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuropsychoanalysis of the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute) and “Examination of the repression-as-premature-automatizati...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) is an experimental paradigm for assessing changes in body ownership. Recent findings in the field suggest that social-emotional variables can influence such changes. Since body ownership is a mechanism that enables subjects to organise information about the environment and interact efficiently in it, changes in body o...
Article
The Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud is about to appear in print, almost three decades after the revision was first conceived. This article provides a preview of the nature and scope of the revisions, through a series of extracts from the new edition.
Article
We offer a scientific approach to the philosophical ‘hard problem’ of consciousness, as formulated by David Chalmers in this journal. Our treatment is based upon two recent insights concerning (1) the endogenous nature of consciousness and (2) the minimal thermodynamic conditions for being alive. We suggest that a combination of these insights spec...
Article
This is a brief overview of my “neuropsychoanalytic” perspective on the unconscious. It should make clear how much psychoanalysis has to gain from incorporating the findings of neuroscientific disciplines studying the same part of nature—the workings of the human mind. I hope it makes equally clear what useful new perspectives can be cast on curren...
Article
As science continues to explore the mysteries of the unconscious, two critical questions remain. First, can unconscious impulses, desires, and feelings be willfully raised to the level of the conscious self?, and, if so, would the unveiling of unconscious mechanisms lead to genuine self-knowledge or empowerment? Second, can we methodically tap into...
Chapter
Despite the minimal attention that physicians typically pay to dreams, their assessment can be of diagnostic interest and have management implications. This chapter reviews the world literature on dream abnormalities of clinical neurological significance, starting with the classical concept of Charcot–Wilbrand syndrome. This and the other recognise...
Article
Full-text available
Following right-hemisphere damage, a specific disorder of motor awareness can occur called anosognosia for hemiplegia, i.e. the denial of motor deficits contralateral to a brain lesion. The study of anosognosia can offer unique insights into the neurocognitive basis of awareness. Typically, however, awareness is assessed as a first person judgement...
Article
Full-text available
. A subgroup of MS patients present with “euphoria.” Classical authors describe this symptom as the predominant mood state of these patients, while contemporary authors regard it as rare. Objective . This study aimed to address these discrepancies and investigate the contributions made by varying operational definitions and measurement instruments....
Article
Los avances recientes en la neurociencia cognitiva, afectiva y social le permitieron a estos campos estudiar los aspectos de la mente que son de fundamental importancia para el psicoanálisis. Estos avances abren una serie de posibilidades para esta disciplina. ¿Puede el psicoanálisis entablar un diálogo productivo y mutuamente enriquecedor con las...
Article
Full-text available
The possible role of emotion in anosognosia for hemiplegia (i.e., denial of motor deficits contralateral to a brain lesion), has long been debated between psychodynamic and neurocognitive theories. However, there are only a handful of case studies focussing on this topic, and the precise role of emotion in anosognosia for hemiplegia requires empiri...
Article
Full-text available
A recent interest in euphoria in multiple sclerosis (MS) has resulted in a wealth of literature on this topic. However, a marked change in the definition of this symptom appears to have taken place since its first descriptions in the mid-19(th) century. This short report will demonstrate that the 'euphoria' being studied today may not be the same s...
Article
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Previous studies suggest that leftward cradling bias may facilitate mother-infant relationships, as it preferentially locates the infant in the mother's left hemi-space, which is specialized for several social-affective processes. If leftward cradling bias is mediated by social-affective attachment processes, it should be reduced in humans who are...
Article
Four iterative studies tested the hypothesis that separation distress is a significant component of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Separation distress and separation trauma were measured in nonclinical undergraduate university participants who scored at the high end of the spectrum of obsessionality and low mood; in patients clinically diagno...
Article
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This article briefly surveys the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience and psychoanalysis (“neuropsychoanalysis”) and also addresses some of the criticisms that the field has encountered. First, the article reviews the historical foundations of neuropsychoanalysis, including both theoretical and technical questions of whether an interdiscipline i...
Article
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This study investigated relations among empathy and cradling bias in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Twenty children with ASDs and 20 typically developing (TD) children, aged 5-15 years old, cradled a doll as if it were an infant s/he was putting to sleep on three separate occasions. We recorded side preference on each occ...
Article
Full-text available
Panksepp’s separation-distress model of depression posits that endogenous opioid systems become dysregulated subsequent to early social trauma and that this dysregulation constitutes a risk factor for depression. We tested an aspect of this model by recruiting medically and psychiatrically healthy young adults (N = 32) who differed on one key crite...
Article
Full-text available
Panksepp's separation-distress model of depression posits that endogenous opioid systems become dysregulated subsequent to early social trauma and that this dysregulation constitutes a risk factor for depression. We tested an aspect of this model by recruit-ing medically and psychiatrically healthy young adults (N = 32) who differed on one key crit...
Article
Full-text available
It is commonly believed that consciousness is a higher brain function. Here we consider the likelihood, based on abundant neuroevolutionary data that lower brain affective phenomenal experiences provide the "energy" for the developmental construction of higher forms of cognitive consciousness. This view is concordant with many of the theoretical fo...
Article
In rodents, the endogenous opioid system has been implicated in emotion regulation, and in the reduction of fear in particular. In humans, while there is evidence that the opioid antagonist naloxone acutely enhances the acquisition of conditioned fear, there are no corresponding data on the effect of opioid agonists in moderating responses to fear....
Article
A standard system for conceptualizing and classifying disordered and abnormal dreaming has not yet been developed, in part a result of the wide disparities in approach to dreaming that presently characterize the field. In this chapter, several categories of abnormal dreaming are considered. After a brief review of dreaming in relation to the sleep...
Article
The influential threat simulation theory (TST) asserts that dreaming yields adaptive advantage by providing a virtual environment in which threat-avoidance may be safely rehearsed. We have previously found the incidence of biologically threatening dreams to be around 20%, with successful threat avoidance occurring in approximately one-fifth of such...
Article
Neuropsychoanalysis seeks to understand the human mind, especially as it relates to first-person experience. It recognizes the essential role of neuroscience in such quests. However, unlike most branches of neuroscience, it positions mind and brain on an equal footing. It recognizes that the mammalian brain is not only an information processing dev...
Article
The affective foundations of depression and addictions are discussed from a cross-species - animal to human - perspective of translational psychiatric research. Depression is hypothesized to arise from an evolutionarily conserved mechanism to terminate protracted activation of separation-distress (PANIC/GRIEF) systems of the brain, a shutdown mecha...
Article
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"Mindfulness" is a capacity for heightened present-moment awareness that we all possess to a greater or lesser extent. Enhancing this capacity through training has been shown to alleviate stress and promote physical and mental well-being. As a consequence, interest in mindfulness is growing and so is the need to better understand it. This study emp...
Article
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The presence of schizotypal personality traits in some people with bipolar disorder, together with reports of greater cognitive dysfunction in patients with a history of psychotic features compared with patients without such a history, raises questions about the nosological relationship between bipolar disorder with psychotic features and bipolar d...
Article
Malcolm-Smith, Solms, Turnbull and Tredoux [Malcolm-Smith, S., Solms, M., Turnbull, O., & Tredoux, C. (2008). Threat in dreams: An adaptation? Consciousness and Cognition, 17, 1281–1291.] conducted a rigorous study that sampled two populations differentially exposed to threat in real life, and found that critical predictions from the Threat Simulat...
Article
There has been little experimental work investigating the emotional content of confabulation, despite clinical descriptions of self-serving and affectively positive biases. False memories were elicited in 10 amnesic confabulating patients, 10 healthy controls and four amnesic control patients without confabulation. Memory protocols of the interview...
Article
Full-text available
Impaired executive and memory function is a putative genetic trait marker of bipolar I disorder (BPD I). Although executive/memory function has been posited to be an endophenotype of BPD I, it is unclear whether this extends to bipolar spectrum illness. It is also unclear to what extent non-genetic factors such as childhood abuse, alcoholism and me...
Article
Recent studies suggest that the content of confabulation is mainly positive and self-enhancing. In this group study, we aimed to investigate whether this positive bias is specific to self-referent information. Confabulating amnesic patients, amnesic non-confabulating patients and healthy controls were asked to reproduce a series of short stories. W...