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Mark Solms

mark solms youtube, mark solms neuropsychoanalysis
Mark Solms1 born 17 July 1961, Lüderitz, Namibia is a psychoanalyst and a professor in neuropsychology Currently he holds the Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital Departments of Psychology and Neurology and is the President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association He is also currently Research Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association since 2013 Solms founded the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society in 2000 and he was a Founding Editor with Ed Nersessian of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis He is Director of the Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuropsychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute2 He is also Director of the Neuropsychoanalysis Foundation in New York, a Trustee of the Neuropsychoanalysis Fund in London, and Director of the Neuropsychoanalysis Trust in Cape Town 3 4 5 He is the lead educator of the free online course, What is a Mind on the platform FutureLearn


  • 1 Education
  • 2 Contribution to neuropsychoanalysis
  • 3 Recognition
  • 4 Publications
  • 5 Personal life
  • 6 Turning psychoanalysis into wine
  • 7 References


Mark Solms was educated at Pretoria Boys’ High School in South Africa He then attended the University of the Witwatersrand, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology 1984, an Honours degree in Applied Psychology 1985, a Master’s degree in Research Psychology 1987 and a PhD in Neuropsychology 1992 He emigrated to London in 1988, where he worked academically at University College London Psychology Department and clinically at the Royal London Hospital Neurosurgery Department, while he trained at the Institute of Psychoanalysis 1989-1994 During this period, he established the first neuropsychoanalytic clinical service at the Anna Freud Centre

Contribution to neuropsychoanalysisedit

Mark Solms is best known for his discovery of the forebrain mechanisms of dreaming,6 and for his integration of psychoanalytic theories and methods with those of modern neuroscience7 He is reportedly the first person to have used the term neuropsychoanalysis8

Solms' work tries to connect the theories and findings of psychoanalysis, a science of the mind subjective thoughts, feelings, memories, etc, with modern neuroscientific knowledge of the objective anatomical structure and functions of the brain The renowned case of Phineas Gage, who had traumatic brain injury caused by a tamping iron, is traditionally used to illustrate these connections Gage was physically recovered but his mind was radically changed and his friends and acquaintances said that he was 'no longer Gage'9 According to Solms, these clinical observations demonstrate that the brain and the personality are inextricable They make it clear that the object of study in psychoanalysis is somehow intrinsically connected with the object of study of neuroscience Solms is convinced that the only way to fully understand the brain is by bringing back together psychoanalysis and neuroscience

The pivotal aim of Solms' work is to provide an empirical method by which psychoanalysis can rejoin neuroscience in a way that is compatible with Freud's basic assumptions In order to accomplish that, Solms relies on one of the major developments within neuroscience since Freud's death: the work of Alexander Romanovich Luria Luria’s method identifies the neurological organization of any mental function without contradicting the fundamental assumptions of psychoanalysis Hence, a viable bridge is established between the concepts of psychology, those of anatomy, physiology and all the other branches of neurological science Solms elaborates and formulates a new approach to investigate the deeper strata of the mind by implementing neuropsychoanalysis thinking: "I am recommending that we chart the neurological organization of the deepest strata of the mind, using a psychoanalytic version of syndrome analysis, by studying the deep structure of the mental changes that can be discerned in neurological patients within a psychoanalytic relationship" 10


Mark Solms has received numerous awards, notably Honorary Membership of the New York Psychoanalytic Society in 1998, the American College of Psychoanalysts in 2004 and the American College of Psychiatrists in 2015 Other awards include:

  • Sigmund Freud Award by the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians 2013
  • Eli W Lane Memorial Award by the Southwest Psychoanalytic Society, University of Arizona awarded twice 2012 & 2013
  • Sigourney Award by the Mary Sigourney Trust 2011
  • Oscar Sternbach Award for Outstanding Dedication and Contributions to Psychoanalysis 2009
  • Arnold Pfeffer Prize by the New York Psychoanalytic Institute 2008
  • Hans W Loewald Memorial Award by the International Forum for Psychoanalytic Education 2007
  • Gradiva Award for Best Book Science Category: ‘Clinical Studies in Psychoanalysis’ with K Kaplan-Solms by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis 2001
  • International Psychiatrist Lecture by the American Psychiatric Association 2001
  • George Sarton Medal by the Rijksuniversiteit Gent, Belgium 1996


He has published widely in both neuroscientific and psychoanalytic journals, including Cortex journal , Neuropsychologia , Trends in Cognitive Sciences and Behavioral and Brain Sciences He is also frequently published in general-interest journals, such as Scientific American He has published more than 250 articles and book chapters, and 6 books His second book, The Neuropsychology of Dreams 1997, was a landmark contribution to the field His 2002 book with Oliver Turnbull, The Brain and the Inner World was a best-seller and has been translated into 13 languages He is the authorised editor and translator of the forthcoming Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud 24 vols and the Complete Neuroscientific Works of Sigmund Freud 4 vols 11

Personal lifeedit

Solms is married to Karen Kaplan-Solms, also a psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist Together they wrote the book Clinical Studies in Neuropsychoanalysis in 2001, which received the Gradiva Award for Best Book Science Category by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, USAThey have a son Leonard, born in 1996 and a daughter Ella, born in 2000 and they live near Cape Town, South Africa

Turning psychoanalysis into wineedit

Outside academia, Mark Solms pursues a different passion: winemaking Solms-Delta is a farm, located in the Franschhoek Valley, with a rich history and prize-winning wines Solms took over custodianship of the farm in 2001 Its 325 year history was deeply rooted in slavery, but Solms with his unique ethos decided to run the farm in a very different way All 180 inhabitants of the land and previously disadvantaged farm workers are empowered through co-ownership, along with Solms and British philanthropist Richard Astor Solms thinks that all this is important for the quality of the final product, from the soil to how the farm-workers feel "Wine is made by hand, and the attitude of the labourers affects what is in the bottle, from the way they tend the vines and select the grapes If someone is preparing it with resentment and hatred, what will he make" 12 13 14


  1. ^ "Mark Solms: Profile" UK: The Guardian 25 November 2012 Retrieved 2 March 2013 
  2. ^ "#316 – Exploring Neuro-Psychoanalysis with Mark Solms PhD" Shrink Rap Radio Retrieved 2 March 2013  External link in |publisher= help
  3. ^ "NPSA Association" Retrieved 12 September 2015 
  4. ^ "NPSA Fund" Retrieved 12 September 2015 
  5. ^ "Neuropsychoanalysis Association in APA TV" Retrieved 12 September 2015 
  6. ^ Solms, M 2000 'Dreaming and REM sleep are controlled by different brain mechanisms' Behav Brain Sci, 23: 843-50
  7. ^ Solms, M 1998 'Preliminaries for an integration of psychoanalysis and neuroscience Presented at a meeting of the Contemporary Freudian Group of the British Psycho-Analytical Society
  8. ^ Mitchell, Natasha "Freud on the couch in a brain scanner! Sept 30, 2011" ABC Radio National Retrieved 20 September 2013 
  9. ^ Harlow, J 1868 'Recovery from the passage of an iron bar through the head' Massachusetts Med Soc Publ, 2: 329-347
  10. ^ Solms, M 1998 'Preliminaries for an integration of psychoanalysis and neuroscience Presented at a meeting of the Contemporary Freudian Group of the British Psycho-Analytical Society
  11. ^ "Mark Solms: Selected publications" University of Cape Town Retrieved 12 September 2015 
  12. ^ "Solms-Delta lives a transformation ethos" Media Club South Africa Retrieved 10 September 2015 
  13. ^ "Mark Solms - Delta Wine" Solms-Delta Retrieved 10 September 2015 
  14. ^ "TedxObserver - Mark Solms" TedxTalks Retrieved 12 September 2015 

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