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See Inside April/May 2006

Freud Returns

Neuroscientists are finding that their biological descriptions of the brain may fit together best when integrated by psychological theories that Freud sketched a century ago

The founder of psychoanalysis was born 150 years ago, and in 2006 his theories are enjoying a rebirth. New life in deed, because not too long ago his ideas were considered dead.

For the first half of the 1900s, Sigmund Freuds explanations dominated views of how the human mind works. His basic proposition was that our motivations remain largely hidden in our unconscious minds. Moreover, they are actively withheld from consciousness by a repressive force. The executive apparatus of the mind (the ego) rejects any unconscious drives (the id) that might prompt behavior that would be incompatible with our civilized conception of ourselves. This repression is necessary because the drives express themselves in unconstrained passions, childish fantasies, and sexual and aggressive urges.

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