Review: ‘In the Mind Fields’ by Casey Schwartz

How does the mind work? And can it reveal our humanity? Do our inner fears, desires, and memories match up with the mechanics of our brains?These are the kinds of existential questions Casey Schwartz tackles in her fascinating new book, “In the Mind Fields: Exploring the New Science of Neuropsychoanalysis.” Yes, neuropsychoanalysis. It’s an emerging field, integrating hard science into the seemingly outdated practice of psychoanalysis, a method of psychological treatment with roots dating back to Sigmund Freud. It is often called “the talking cure,” emphasizing the importance of recalling childhood memories in order to identify recurring themes and patterns. Neuropsychoanalysis attempts to breathe new life into psychoanalysis — to legitimize it, in a way. And it aims to soften attention fixed so rigidly on the hard details and numbers…

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