Category Archives: Events


Thursday 1 June 2017, 6:00 pm

UCL, 26 Bedford Way, Room 305


Dreams and their meaning in the perspective of current neuroscience

Abstract: Recent work in neuroscience assigns two main roles to sleep and dreaming: minimising free energy, and consolidating memory and maintaining the synaptic connections in which memories are reallized.  These roles can be seen to coincide in detail with Freud’s and other depth-psychological accounts of the meaning and function of dreams.  By integrating these accounts we can understand how the significance we assign to dreams derives from their role in unifying the emotional meaning of the past and the present in preparation for the future, a task they accomplish by adjusting emotional significance over the fields of memory in which experiential learning is embodied.
Bio: Jim Hopkins is currently Honorary Professor in the Psychoanalysis Unit at UCL.  He was Kohut Visiting Professor for 2008 at the University of Chicago and since his retirement has been Reader Emeritus in the Philosophy Department at King’s College London.

As you know by now, a Neuropsychoanalysis Group has been formed in London with special emphasis on psychodynamic neuroscience and neuropsychology research. Now in its eighth year, it usually meets at 6 pm on the first Thursday (and less frequently on the first or second Wednesday or Thursday) of each month of the academic calendar. If you read this for the first time, and are interested in joining or visiting this group, please contact:Prof Jim Hopkins at 2-3 lines indicating your discipline and the nature of your interest.

For those of you who plan to attend the 2017 London Congress in July…
the difference in the price between a Society member and a non-member is over 10%, i.e. more than the cost of the annual membership!

Become a member:
London Congress:

Thank you!

Talking Head – What is a mind?

The Neuropsychoanalysis Association
invites you to explore The Talking Head –
a free, interactive educational platform exploring a big question:
Navigate a new series of easily accessible lectures by Mark Solms in a fun and novel way.  The Talking Head is a point of entry into scientific and scholarly literature that encompasses current knowledge about the nature of the mind. Users are invited to explore readings, definitions, images, and more, through multiple portals.

You can trace the links between topics at your own pace. Multiple icons appear in an associative network around the ‘talking head’ of the lecturer, inviting you to pursue individual lines of interest. This enables various specialist knowledge bases to be explored in as much depth as you desire.

To experience the Talking Head, please click here.

A heads up! The Talking Head is processor intensive.
For an optimal viewing experience, use an updated browser
and shut down other programs and close unnecessary tabs.
This project was generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is hosted by the Neuropsychoanalysis Association. It was developed by the South African firm Formula D interactive, in association with the University of Cape Town with assistance from its Centre of Innovation in Learning & Teaching, producers of the MOOC ‘What is a Mind?’ (hosted by Futurelearn). The Project Head is Mark Solms, with his research team of Ross Balchin, Aimee Dollman, and Coenraad Hattingh.

Upcoming NPSA events

Dublin, London, Milan, Mexico City, Tel Aviv, Frankfurt
Scroll down for details
Dublin, Ireland (9 May 2017)
Trip Down (False) Memory Lane: Uncovering confabulation
and its potential significance in psychological therapy after brain injury
Presentation and clinical case illustrations exploring neuroscientific, neuropsychological and psychoanalytical perspectives on confabulation, followed by a panel led group discussion.
Please click here to learn more

London, UK (11 May 2017)
Christoph Mathys on ‘Madness as a failure of active inference’

Madness takes many forms, most of which can be explained as a failure of active inference. This talk will take overfitting, the core problem of all inference, as the point of departure and be discussed in terms of its relation to psychosis. Neurosis, a harder problem, forces us take into account action, and active inference.
Please click here to learn more

Milan, Italy (19 May 2017)
Biological and Emotional Narratives

Speakers include Sara Micotti, Mark Solms, Giuseppe Civitarese, Katerina Fotopoulou, Rosa Spagnolo, Yoram Yovell, Alessandra Schiaffino, Francesca Valeriani, and Elena Molinari.
Please click here to learn more

Mexico City, Mexico (20 May 2017)
Reunión de Grupo de Estudio de Neuropsicoanálisis
Discussion of “The Conscious Id” – participation available
via Skype or Google Hangout (in Spanish).
Please click here to learn more

Tel Aviv, Israel (25 May 2017)
The Many Languages of Neuropsychoanalysis:
An integrative view of Brain-Body-Mind relationships

The conference focuses on the many facets, professional diversity, and the various professional cultures of the Israeli Forum for Neuropsychoanalysis and the integration between them. The Forum will offer a working hypothesis: Let us speak with and about language as the meeting place of Brain-Body and Mind.
Please click here to learn more

Frankfurt, Germany (27 – 28 May 2017)
Weekend Workshop with Mark Solms

This workshop will earn CME points and is accredited by the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society, which is in the process of establishing a clinical register. Completion of the workshop will count towards registration, when the register opens, but there will also be additional requirements (still being determined).
Please click here to learn more

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.