A Neural Correlate of Consciousness Related to Repression

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In previous research Libet (1966) discovered that a critical time period for neural activation is necessary in order for a stimulus to become conscious. This necessary time period varies from subject to subject. In this current study, six subjects for whom the time for neural activation of consciousness had been previously determined were administered a battery of psychological tests on the basis of which ratings were made of degree of repressiveness. As hypothesized, repressive subjects had a longer critical time period for neural activation of consciousness, suggesting the possibility that this neurophysiological time factor is a necessary condition for the development of repression.

Keywords: Key Words: neural activation; consciousness; defenses; neurophysiology; preconscious; psychoanalysis; repression; unconscious processes

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan 2: Department of Psychiatry, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 3: Institute of Neuroscience, University of California at Davis, Davis, California

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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