Carhart-Harris: Neuroscience and Freudian Concepts

Here are some notes taken off an interesting article, entitled “The default-mode, ego-functions and free-energy: a neurobiological account of Freudian ideas” that can be downloaded online. See bibliography below.

Researchers developed a strategy of comparing Freudian concepts of primary and secondary processing of cognition with fMRI neuroimaging, by studying brain activity under psychedelic- induced altered states.







The ego and the secondary process
 1. Default energy store or reservoir, which possesses the property of being spontaneously or tonically active.
 2. Receives and ‘contains’ or ‘represses’ endogenous excitation.
 3. Minimizes free-energy.
 4. Integrates or binds the primary process and its representational system (the id) into a broader, more cohesive, composite organization (the ego).
 5. Specific ontogenetic development.
 6. Supports reality-testing and perceptual processing.
 7. Supports conscious awareness, cognition and directed attention.
 8. Possesses internally and externally-focused components, which are inversely related (anti-correlated).
 9. Excessive-engagement of internally-focused component and impoverished engagement of externally-focused network during pathological withdrawal; e.g. in depression and schizophrenia.
10. Failure of systems to minimize free-energy (suppress endogenous excitation) results in disturbed affect, cognition and perception; as seen in non-ordinary states such as dreaming and psychosis.

The id and primary process thinking

11. Characteristics of the system unconscious/the id and primary process thinking: i.e. a primitive, ‘magical’ or animisitic style of thinking, characterized neurophysiologically by ‘free’ movement of energy. One can think of primary process thinking in evolutionary terms as a ‘protoconsciousness’.

 

Psychopathology and Neuroscience

Studies and papers written of the DMN through neuro-imaging are producing data to show the activity level differences in brain activity of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (Royall et.al 2012), Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia (Öngür et.al 2010), Post traumatic Stress disorder (Lanius et.al. 2010).

 

Bibliography

Buckner, R. L., Andrews-Hanna, J. R., & Schacter, D. L. The brain’s default network: anatomy, function, and relevance to disease Ann NY Acad Sci 2008; 1124: 1-38.

Carhart-Harris, R. L., & Friston, K. J. (2010). The default-mode, ego-functions and free-energy: a neurobiological account of Freudian ideas. Brain, 133(4), https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/133/4/1265/307446#main-content, 1265-1283.

Lanius, R. A., Bluhm, R. L., Coupland, N. J., Hegadoren, K. M., Rowe, B., Theberge, J., … & Brimson, M. (2010). Default mode network connectivity as a predictor of post‐traumatic stress disorder symptom severity in acutely traumatized subjects. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica121(1), 33-40.

 

Öngür, D., Lundy, M., Greenhouse, I., Shinn, A. K., Menon, V., Cohen, B. M., & Renshaw, P. F. (2010). Default mode network abnormalities in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging183(1), 59-68.

Royall, D. R., Palmer, R. F., Vidoni, E. D., Honea, R. A., & Burns, J. M. (2012). The default mode network and related right hemisphere structures may be the key substrates of dementia. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 32(2), 467-478.

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Presentation: Psychedelics and Psychotherapy

This is my presentation on this topic, “Psychedelics and Psychotherapy”. ONe can also download a pdf version of this assignment here.
       References:

 

Blewett, D., Chwelos, N (1959). Handbook for the Therapeutic use of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25 individual and group procedures. Erowid.org Ed. 2012 OCR version.

Brooks, M (2012). Ecstacy-Assisted Psychotherapy effective, durable for PTSD. Medscape Medical News. Retrieved from: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/776266

Bruckner, R, Andrews-Hanna, J & Schacter, D. (2008). The brains default network: Anatomy, function, and relevance to disease. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1124, pp.1-38.

Buoso, J., & Riba, J. (2014). Ayahuasca and the treatment of drug addiction.  In B.C. Labate & C. Cavnar (Eds). The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca. NY:Springer.  pp. 95-109.

Carhart-Harris, R. L., & Friston, K. J. (2010). The default-mode, ego-functions and free-energy: a neurobiological account of Freudian ideas. Brain, awq010.

Carhart-Harris, R. L., et al. (2011). Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Vol 109 no. 6. 2138-2143.

Conway M., Pleydell-Pearce C. (2000) The construction of autobiographical memories in the self-memory system. Psychol Rev. 2000;107:261–88.

Drevets WC, Price JL, Furey ML (2008) Brain structural and functional abnormalities in mood disorders: Implications for neurocircuitry models of depression. Brain Struct Funct 213:93–118.

Fischer, F. (2015). Therapy and Substance: Psycholytic psychotherapy in the twenty first century. UK: Muswell Hill Press.

Freud, S. (1933). New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis.  Vol 22. London: Vintage.

Friston K. (2010) The free-energy principle: A unified brain theory? Nat Rev Neurosci 11:127–138.

Griffiths, R.,  Richards, W., McCann, U., Jesse, R. (2006). Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance.  Psychopharmacology. Vol 187,3, pp. 268-283.

Grof, S. (1980).  LSD Psychotherapy (The healing potential of psychedelic medicine.). pp. 28.

Grob CS, et al. (2011) Pilot study of psilocybin treatment for anxiety in patients with advanced-stage cancer. Arch Gen Psychiatry 68:71–78.

Huxley A., (1954) The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell. Harper & Brothers: London.

ICEERS (International Center for Ethnobotanicals Education Research & Service) (2014) Ayahuasca Conference 2014.  http://www.aya2014.com/).

Ino, T., Nakai, R., Azuma, T., Kimura, T., & Fukuyama, H. (2011). Brain Activation During Autobiographical Memory Retrieval with Special Reference to Default Mode Network. The Open Neuroimaging Journal5, 14–23.

Mithoefer, M. (2012). Durability of improvement in posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and absence of harmful effects or drug dependency fter MDMA assisted psychotherapy. Journal of Psychopharmacology Nov 20 2012 , Vol. 7, 2 pp. 101-116.

Nielson J., & Megler J. (2014). Ayahuasca as a candidate Therapy for PTSD . In B.C. Labate & C. Cavnar (Eds). The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca. NY:Springer.  pp. 41-58.

Northoff, G., Heinzel, A., Greck, M., Bennoihl, F., Dobrowolny, H. & Panksepp, J. (2006). Self referential processing in our brain: A meta-analysis of imaging studies on the self.  Neuroimage, 31(1), 440-457.

Palhano-Fontes, F. et al. (2014). The therapeutic potentials of Ayahuasca in the treatment of depression . In B.C. Labate & C. Cavnar (Eds). The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca. NY:Springer.  pp. 41-58.

Prickett, J., & Leister, B. (2014). Hypothesses regarding Ayahuasca’s potential Mechanisms of action in the treatment of addiction.  In B.C. Labate & C. Cavnar (Eds). The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca. NY:Springer.  pp. 111-130.

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Winkelman, M. (2014). Psychedelics as Medicines for Substance Abuse Rehabilitation: Evaluating Treatments with LSD, Peyote, Ibogaine and Ayahuasca. Current Drug Abuse Reviews, Vol. 7, 2 pp. 101-116.

Notes: A Study Using Psychotherapy and fMRI Neuroimaging

A clinical case study of a psychoanalytic psychotherapy monitored with functional neuroimaging.

Tables and images in article

Reference

Buchheim, A., Labek, K., Walter, S., & Viviani, R. (2013). A clinical case study of a psychoanalytic psychotherapy monitored with functional neuroimaging. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 7.