Category Archives: Events

NPSA meets Faculty of Medical Psychotherapy Neuroscience Interest Group  

Saturday 8 April 2017, 9am – 5pm

Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane NW3 5BA 


Clinical presentations and neuroscience of dreaming and trauma

Visiting speaker and discussant: Earl Hopper 


09:00-09:30: Registration and Refreshments

09:30-11:00: Discussion of three papers led by: Jim Hopkins, John Hook and Cynthia Fu

  • Mark Solms New Findings On The Neurological Organization Of Dreaming: Implications For Psychoanalysis(1995). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 64:43-67
  • T Fischmann, M O Russ, M Leuzinger-Bohleber – (2013) Trauma, dream, and psychic change in psychoanalyses: a dialog between psychoanalysis and
    the neurosciences. Frontiers in Neuroscience
  • Robin Carhart-Harris Waves of the Unconscious: The Neurophysiology of Dreamlike Phenomena and Its Implications for the Psychodynamic Model of the Mind (2007) Neuropsychoanalysis 9:2, 183-211

11:30-11:30: Morning Refreshments

11:30-13:00: A clinical commentary on trauma and dreaming — Dr Earl Hopper

13:00-13:45: Lunch

13:45-14:30: Neuroscientific and clinical perspectives on dreaming and trauma: An attempt at synthesis — Dr Susan Mizen

14:30-15:30: Group discussion

15:30-16:00: Afternoon Refreshments

16:00-16:45: Future developments of MP neuroscience interest group and London NPSA group

16:45: Close


For more information and to book online please visit


Thursday 2 March 2017, 6 pm
UCL, 26 Bedford Way, Room 305


Interoception: from homeostasis to self-awareness
Abstract: Modern psychology has long focused on the importance of the body as the basis of the self. However, this focus concerned the exteroceptive body, that is, the body as perceived from the outside, as when we recognize ourselves in the mirror. This influential approach has neglected another important dimension of the body, namely the interoceptive body, that is, the body as perceived from within, as for example when one feels her racing heart. In psychology, research on interoception has focused mainly on its role in emotion. Recent research, however, has attempted to go beyond this approach, aiming instead to show how interoception and interoceptive awareness serve the unity and stability of the self, analogous to the role of interoception in maintaining physiological homeostasis. My talk will consider such findings from studies on infants and adults as a means of going beyond the division between interoception and exteroception to consider their integration in self-awareness. This approach provides an alternative to existing psychological theories of the self insofar it goes beyond the apparent antagonism between the awareness of the self from the outside and from within, to consider their dynamic integration and inform us on how humans navigate the challenging balance between inside and out, in terms of both the individual’s natural (interoception vs. exteroception) and social (self vs. others) embodiment in the world.
Bio: Manos Tsakiris studied psychology and philosophy before completing his PhD (2006) in psychology and cognitive neurosciences at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL. In 2007 he joined the Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, where he is currently Professor of Psychology. His research is highly interdisciplinary and uses a wide range of methods to investigate the neurocognitive mechanisms that shape the experience of embodiment and self-identity, and our social relations . He is the recipient of the 2014 Young Mind and Brain Prize, of the 22nd Experimental Psychology Society Prize and 2016 NOMIS Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award. Since 2016, he is leading the interdisciplinary Body & Image in Arts & Science (BIAS) project at the Warburg Institute, and since 2017 the INtheSELF ERC Consolidator project at Royal Holloway.


Thursday 9 February 2017, 6 pm
UCL, 26 Bedford Way, Room 305


The Relational Affective Model; a neuropsychoanalytic treatment for severe and complex narcissistic disorder

Abstract: The Relational Affective Model has been developed from clinical observation of patients with severe personality disorder attending an intensive psychotherapeutic treatment programme in the NHS. The model draws upon the neuroscience literature to describe a pathway through which affect is symbolised in a relational context. The disruption of this pathway through neurological or relational deficit or psychodynamic defence is outlined to account for the failures of symbolisation observed clinically. The narcissistic defences of attributive and acquisitive projective identification described by Herbert Rosenfeld and Ron Britton provide an account of the disruption in the experience of self and other and of the boundary of the self which are common to these disorders and their associated comorbidities including eating disorders and psychosomatic disorders. The disordered pattern of relating to the body as other and the implications for psychotherapeutic practice are summarised.

Bio: Dr Mizen is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy. Having trained at the Cassel Hospital in West London she was a Consultant at Charing Cross Hospital in Fulham before taking up her post in Devon. She undertook her analytic training with the Society of Analytical Psychology in London. She wrote the business case for the Devon Partnership Mental Health Trust Specialist Personality Disorder Service obtaining funding for a day treatment and outpatient psychodynamic psychotherapy programme for people with severe and complex Personality Disorder who would otherwise be treated in locked placements. She is the clinical lead for this service and over the past five years has developed the Relational Affective Model which is in use in the service.  She is undertaking a neuroscience PhD at Exeter University to test the hypothesis which underpins the clinical model. She is the Chair of the Psychotherapy Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. In addition to her NHS practice she continues to practice as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in Private Practice.


Two-day course on Neuroscience and Psychoanalysis

This course takes place on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October 2016, from 9.30am – 5pm

Thanks to a collaboration between The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and The Neuropsychoanalysis Society, this two-day course will provide therapists, analysts and trainees with an introduction to aspects of neuroscience that are particularly relevant to psychoanalytic and other psychological therapies.

For more information and to register, please visit this website.

“Bodily pleasure matters: The role of affective touch in a healthy sense of the bodily self” at University of Hertfordshire

Katlab PhD student Laura Crucianelli, gave a talk on the 19th of November on her research at University of Hertfordshire as part of the Psychology and Sport Sciences Research Seminars.


Bodily pleasure matters: The role of affective touch in a healthy sense of the bodily self

Slow, caress-like touch may play a unique role in the development and maintenance of psychological wellbeing in humans. In particular, recent evidence shows that affective touch (i.e. slow, caress-like touch), and more generally interoception signals (i.e. information about the physiological condition of the body) may make a unique contribution to the sense of body ownership. In the first part of this talk I shall describe recent experimental evidence highlighting the importance of interoceptive information, and particularly affective (pleasant) touch, in the sense of body ownership. In the second part I shall discus recent research suggesting that individuals with Anorexia Nervosa show altered subjective responses to interoceptive stimuli such as hunger, physical pain and perception of bodily signals. In line with this existing research, our data suggest an impairment in bodily pleasure in anorexia nervosa, which could potentially be linked to the detection of affective touch. Implications and future directions of these findings in relation to body image will be highlighted and discussed.

Special Lecture, Wednesday 18 November, University of Edinburgh: ‘Bodily Egocentricity and Allocentricity: From Anosognosia to Anorexia’

Katerina gave this talk as part of the Special Lecture Series of the Division of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh.

Bodily Egocentricity and Allocentricity: From Anosognosia to Anorexia


According to the Embodied cognition approach several facets of self-awareness are causally related to the physical body and its properties. Primary sensorimotor signals are integrated and re-represented in various levels of the neurocognitive hierarchy to form a number of neurocognitively distinct bodily representations, including unconscious and conscious facets of the bodily self such as body agency, ownership and image. However, the precise mechanisms by which bodily signals are integrated and re-mapped in the brain to give rise to our consious percepts and feelings of ownening and controlling a body remain unknown.

In this talk, I will present a series of empirical studies on neuropsychiatric disorders of body awareness, including anosognosia for hemiplegia and somatoparaphrenia following right hemisphere stroke, functional motor disorders and anorexia nervosa. In such studies we have use a number of neuroimaging and experimental paradigms from cognitive neuroscience, during which simple psychophysical tricks are used to systematically manipulate sensorimotor signals, promote their integration, or generate conflicts and illusions, and hence study their role in body awareness. Our results highlight that these disorders can be best described as different aberrations of a core antagonism between bottom-up signals, and top-down prior beliefs, with particular emphasis on the role of interoception and its relation to perspective-taking and metacognition.

British Neuropsychological Autumn Meeting

Paul Jenkinson and Katerina Fotopouluu organised this fun debate at the BNS meeting this November. The opposing team had an overwhelming majority on their side at the onset and they managed to maintain it. However, the proposing team managed to sway the opinion of more people, which is also a notable achievement. Feedback from the audience and the BNS committee has been nothing but enthusiastic.