Earl Jackson, Jr.
Freud’s First Sciences
31. March, 1881. Freud
becomes a Doctor.
Freud becomes engaged to Martha
Freud leaves the Institute after
Brücke confronted him with some painful facts about Freud’s situation
in Austria: as a doctor without private funding and as a Jew, there was
no future there for him either at the Institute or in Academia. Freud became
a rotating intern at the Allgemeine Krankenhaus.
1. January 1884:. Freud becomes
a resident in the Department of Neurology. He worked in the
neurological laboratories under Meinert. Under Brücke Freud had
nearly discovered the neurone. He sets as a goal to open a private practice
and become a lecturer in neuropathology.
engaged in study of medicinal properties of cocaine.
. . .
|From 1880 until 1882, Dr. Joseph
Breuer had been involved with the case of Anna
O, whose „hysterical“ conditions led Breuer to experiment with treatments
that would have far reaching implications.
Freud receives title of lecturer,
and a six-month month stipend to study in Paris with Charcot.
1886 Freud returns from Paris.
He gives a paper at the Vienna Medical Society on Charcot’s
work on hysteria and focused on a case of hysteria in a male. Meynert
was outraged, claiming that it was preposterous to suggest a male could
be „hysterical.“ Freud was publically humiliated and found himself no longer
a member of the Meynert circle.
Freud meets Dr. Wilhelm Fliess,
an Ear Nose and Throat specialist in Berlin. Their letters
and their congresses begin.
1889 – Freud studied hypnotism
- Early Publications:
- German translations of Bernheim (1888-89;1892)
- On Aphasia (1891)
With Oskar Rie, a monograph on Cerebral
Palsy in children (1891).
Asymbolia (or „asymbolic aphasia“).
The loss of the ability
to name objects.
Agnosia The loss of the ability
verbal aphasia,in which only the associations
between the single elements of the word presentation are disturbed.
asymbolic aphasia, in which the associations
between word presentation and object presentation are disturbed.
History of Aphasia Studies Prior
1861 Broca discovered that
damage to a portion of the frontal lobe of the brain resulted in „motor
aphasia: gross disturbance to the ability to speak .
1874Wernicke discovers that
damage to one of the the temporal lobes causes „sensory aphasia“: the inability
Variants on the main aphasias
inability to speak spontaneously;
inability to repeat what was said
ability to read words but not letters
ability to read letters but not
Wernicke and Lichtheim wrote up
detailed maps of the brain in which they designate exact locations in the
brain directly corresponding to type of aphasia. This is untenable and
unworkable. Freud’s monograph represents his attempt to clear up the problem
concerning the relation of the location of the physical injury to the brain
and the resultant aphasia.
can only presume that the fibre tracts, which reach the cerebral cortex
after their passage through other grey masses, have maintained some relationship
to the periphery of the body, but no longer reflect a topographically exact
image of it. They contain the body periphery in the same way as – to borrow
an example from the subject with which we are concerned here – a poem contains
the alphabet, i.e., in a completely different arrangement serving other
purposes, in manifold associations of the individual elements, whereby
some may be represented several times, others not at all. [Freud On
Aphasia , 19].
That the aphasias simply
reproduce a state which existed in the course of the normal process of
learning to speak. . . . when learning, we are restricted by the hierarchy
of the centres which started functioning at different times; the sensory-auditory
first, then the motor, later the visual and lastly the graphic. [On
In the psychological
schema of word presentations, the latter appear as a closed complex of
images, the object presentation as an open one. The word presentation is
linked to the presentation of the object via the sound image alone. Among
the object presentations, the visual one plays a part similar to that played
by the sound image among the word associations. [On Aphasia 73
Approximately 60% of the synopsis below I derive from John Forrester’s
wonderful monograph, Language and the Origin of Psychoanalysis.
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1980).
Freud’s theory replaces the traditional
description of aphasia as a strictly location-bound disorder with a functional
explanation. He accepts that destruction of the three main centers – motor,
acoustic, visual – results in motor aphasia, sensory aphasia and/or alexia
respectively. He proposes, however, that all the other subvarieties resulted
from varying degress of functional derangement radiating from a (slightly
or badly) damaged area.
Broca and Wernicke centers are only
anatomical, not physiological. The Broca center is important only because
it is in the neighborhood of the motor areas of the brain; Wernicke centers
are important only because they are near the entry of the fibers from the
acoustic nuclei. The centers are, therefore, nothing more than nodal points
in the general network (John Forrester, Language and the Origins of
Freud also challenges Meynert’s
notions that „ideas and memories are to be pictured as attached to various
brain cells.“ – He warned against confusing physiological with psychological
Freud discovered that newly acquired
skills or less important ones suffer aphasia first and the more fundamental
or older ones suffer last.
The ability to
name objects is a weak capacity of our linguistic equipment and often
the one that suffers first. It is possible to recognize objects without
being able to name them.
Finkelburg’s earlier work on aphasia
is flawed because he failed to make that distinction. Freud distinguishes
two forms of aphasia:
Freud refutes Meynert’s definition
as a unity – guaranteed a unitary subject of perception – the ego is
a proejction of the body onto the brain – tracing the antomical connections
between the periphery and the cortex, Meynert fashioned a solid ego-thing
– which provided a faithful reproduction of the body immediately apperceivable
Freud’s arguments against this:
 shows that the distinction
between a perception and its association is both less marked and more complex
than Meynert had thought- dismissing the ‚mirror‘ model of representation.
 If even the ‚body-schema‘ is
a combinatory representation, rather than an imagic presentation (a mirroring,
a reflection, a verdical projection), then, once we turn to the phenomena
of aphasia, we must accept that the order of language must have an even
greater order of combination and organization. [Forrester, Language
Freud replaces Wernicke’s asymmetrical
categories of sensory and motor aphasias with asymmetrical verbal and asymbolic
[On Aphasia , 78].
Change in the Modes of Studying
Focus shifts to psychological regulative
principles, away from physiological, as a direct localization of the injury
on the brain is impossible. Moreover, the disorders are functional as well
Language and the
Origins of Psychoanalysis 29).
New schema for aphasia
Systems – word-presentation and
object-presentation in irreversible heirarchical relation. both for aphasia
and structure of the psyche. aphasia now seen as a disturbance between
two independent systems of representation. The „speech apparatus“ of On
Aphasia evolves into the „psychic apparatus“ of Chapter
VII of The Intepretation of Dreams.
From Aphasia to Hysteria
The lesion of
the brain is now a lesion of an idea. Principle is still disturbance between
the word-presentation system and the object-presentation. A sexual incident
in the child’s life is cause of adult’s hysterical symptom.
Two is based on the material on Aphasia we have just covered. Click
to find it.
Freud’s Life Freud’s Prepsychoanalytic
Freud’s Self-Analysis Seduction Theory Imaginary Exercise