What we do

Studying the mind and behaviour of man and their underpinnings in the nervous system is one of the most exciting but also still largely enigmatic fields of science. Throughout the history of science there have been very different approaches to this topic. One way is to take subjective experience seriously and to try to understand what makes one feel, think, and behave in a particular way that is rooted in individual life history and the sociocultural field a person is living in. Psychoanalysis and its proponents champion this view, having built a complex and multifaceted network of theories that attempt to outline comprehensively the most complex sides of mental life including dreams, psychiatric conditions and unconscious cognition. On the other hand, scientific disciplines such as neuroscience and cognitive psychology emphasize objective and testable phenomena. They focus on electrical signals of nerve cells, reaction times and energy consumption in the brain during narrow, well-defined and replicable experiments. It is quite natural that these different views are often in conflict in terms of what is regarded factual and important. However, we and an increasing number of scientists and clinicians realize that a theory of the human psyche in its entire complexity relies on the work of basic science as well as on hermeneutic understanding of subjective experience. Taking in the most extreme starting points, this endeavour can be dubbed “neuropsychoanalysis”.  

Our group is a forum for researchers from different disciplines, clinicians from different schools, and students of a wide range of subjects that share an interest in neuroscience and psychoanalysis. The goal is to engage in a continuous dialogue, discussing empirical research papers, theoretical ideas and therapeutic techniques. We also collaborate on various research projects mostly taking the stance of a "psychoanalytically informed neuroscience”, investigating basic psychoanalytic concepts by means of experimentation and brain imaging. We also try to establish and uphold connections to (neuro)psychoanalytic organizations and institutions and collaborate closely with other groups.