Neural synchronization as a hypothetical explanation of the psychoanalytic unconscious
Ceylan, Mehmet Emin
Unsalver, Baris Onen
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Cognitive scientists have tried to explain the neural mechanisms of unconscious mental states such as coma, epileptic seizures, and anesthesia-induced unconsciousness. However these types of unconscious states are different from the psychoanalytic unconscious. In this review, we aim to present our hypothesis about the neural correlates underlying psychoanalytic unconscious. To fulfill this aim, we firstly review the previous explanations about the neural correlates of conscious and unconscious mental states, such as brain oscillations, synchronicity of neural networks, and cognitive binding. By doing so, we hope to lay a neuroscientific ground for our hypothesis about neural correlates of psychoanalytic unconscious; parallel but unsynchronized neural networks between different layers of consciousness and unconsciousness. Next, we propose a neuroscientific mechanism about how the repressed mental events reach the conscious awareness; the lock of neural synchronization between two mental layers of conscious and unconscious. At the last section, we will discuss the data about schizophrenia as a clinical example of our proposed hypothesis.