Neuropsychoanalysis – The Emotional Basis of Consciousness

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The Emotional Basis of Consciousness

Margaret Zellner, PhD

Fridays February 4 – June 3, 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM Pacific Time, 5 monthly sessions

This class will explore the clinical implications of Mark Solms’ work on the source of consciousness, and the role of prediction in mental life. We will read his book, The Hidden Spring and related papers.

20220204%20NEURO%20emotional%20basis.pngWe will consider Solms' model of consciousness: generated by the emotional systems originating in the brainstem, and regulated by predictive processes mediated largely by the cortex. This model can illuminate what we and our patients struggle with, based on our developmental histories, and can inform our understanding of what happens in the clinical process. If affect is the foundational form of consciousness, how does it influence learning, decision-making, and working through? Can concepts like “prediction error,” “precision” and “priors” help us more fully understand the psychodynamics of our patients? We will focus on clinical vignettes as we investigate the concepts of Friston, Panksepp, Damasio, and others that are integrated into Solms' model.  2/4;3/4;4/1;5/6;6/3

All course dates: February 4, March 4, April 1, May 6 and June 3.

CE Credits offered: 7.5

Course Objectives

After completing this course participants will be able to:

  1. describe the seven basic emotional systems of the brain.
  2. discuss the “hard problem” - the mystery of how neuronal activity leads to subjective experience.
  3. describe the basis for arguing consciousness arises in the midbrain nuclei of the brainstem rather than in the cortex
  4. discuss the role of Merker’s “decision triangle” or Panksepp’s primal SELF in our response to external challenges
  5. describe the role of affect in sustaining homeostasis
  6. discuss how “prediction error” works with affect to promote learning
  7. describe how Solms concepts can help us more fully understand the psychodynamics of our patients – 415-288-4050 — 530 Bush St, Suite 700, SF CA USA —

The Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. PINC maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Visit for policies and disclaimers.

February 4th, 2022 11:45 AM
Online via Zoom (Pacific Time Zone)
United States
Event Fee(s)
General $ 285.00
CE Credits (7.5) $ 70.00