Perceptual imagery and language dominates our conscious experience. These functions are performed by the cerebral cortex. Understandably, for this reason, we have for the past two centuries considered the cortex (which is uniquely well developed in human beings) to be the ‘organ of consciousness’. However, in 1949 already, evidence began to emerge which suggested that consciousness is a far more primitive function and that it arises endogenously from the inner most core of the ancient brain stem. The structures that were implicated are by no means uniquely human; we share them with all vertebrates. In this talk, evidence that has accumulated over the last 20 years will be presented to support the view that consciousness is neither a uniquely human nor cortical function, and that it arises fundamentally from raw feelings (like pleasure and pain) that we share even with fishes.
Professor Mark Solms is Director of Neuropsychology at the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cape Town. He is also Honorary Lecturer in Neurosurgery at the St Bartholomew’s & Royal London Hospital School of Medicine and an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists. He is a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society and the American and South African Psychoanalytic Associations. He has received numerous honours and awards. He has published 350 scientific papers, and eight books, the latest being The Hidden Spring (Norton, 2021). He is the authorized editor and translator of the forthcoming Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (24 volumes) and Complete Neuroscientific Works of Sigmund Freud (4 volumes).
O seminário será realizado em videoconferência, via Zoom.