December 6th, 2014
Intrinsic Connectivity: An emerging picture of the dynamic brain
Maggie Zellner, Ph.D., L.P.
Executive Director, The Neuropsychoanalysis Foundation
A fast-growing area of neuroscience research looks at the phenomenon of “resting-state networks” or “intrinsic connectivity” – circuits of the brain that appear to be synchronized and continually active, even when a person is simply “resting” in the fMRI scanner. As converging evidence links the activity of these networks to ongoing subjective experience, psychoanalysts should find this emerging field of great interest. This talk will survey the seven networks that have been consistently identified, including attention networks, a “default mode” network that is linked to fantasy and memory, and a “salience” network which appears to mediate feelings and values. We will also look at emerging evidence about how these networks are dynamically interactive. Finally, we will begin to speculate in our discussion about how our psychoanalytic ideas about fantasy, awareness, defense and conflict, object relations, and more, may inform, or be illuminated by, these recent findings.