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Psychoanalysis And Neurosciences: A Particular Parcours. Interview With Leonard De Gier Solms

The Letter, Issue 7, Summer 1996, Pages 21 - 39


Filip Geerardyn and Julien Quackelbeen

Question: Can you tell us of your current professional occupation, what it is that you do and where?

Mark Solms: At the moment I am working in three different contexts, by which I mean clinical contexts. I am working in the division of neuro- surgery in the Royal London Hospital. There I am involved in the diagnostic work with the patients, presurgical and postsurgical. I am also involved in diagnostic work with neurological patients. My specific area of expertise in that setting is understanding the neuro-pathological implications of mental changes. I don't know how much you know about this sort of thing but there is a whole medical specialisation concerning the understanding of the neurological correlates and implications of mental changes in, for example, memory, personality, ability to conceptualise and operate in space, the higher visual functions, the tactile agnosias, all of speech and language, calculation, and so on. All of these different aspects of mental life have specific ways of breaking down when there are specific lesions to specific parts of the brain, and also to some extent when there are specific pathological processes, in other words specific diseases. It is not only a matter of anatomy, where the lesion is, but also the type of pathology. You can make a contribution to the diagnostic aspects, for example, of dementing patients by a careful, clinical examination of the quality of the mental change in the patient. Broadly speaking this goes under the heading of behavioral neurology.

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