Dr. Scola proposes a bold and far-reaching synthesis of psychoanalytic theory, developmental neurobiology and neurophysiology of behavior. Freud found this task so frustrating in 1895 that he renounced neurology in favor of a purely psychologic approach (or so Freud claimed; Frank Sulloway sees it differently). Hypotheses that unconscious mental life is situated in the right cerebrum and that defense mechanisms are related to neuroanatomic connections are intriguing. The presentation does not include evidence which contravenes these theories. Sperry presented some evidence that the right hemisphere is self-aware and self-evaluative (I). One great problem in all cross disciplinary studies is the difference in terminology and definitions from various fields.
Now that Dr. Scola has set forth his theory, the real work begins: to collect data to substantiate it. The first and most direct method is the classical neurologic observation of patients with specific lesions . This method has been used from the time of Wernicke and Freud himself, down to the late great Alexander Luria. Epidemiologic data such as that linking familial tendency to dyslexia , autoimmune disease, migraine and lefthandedness may be important. Finally, the opportunity to do careful experimental work may come, such as that which won Sperry the Nobel Prize in 1981.
Field, M.D., Howard; Fink, M.D., Paul J.; and Swirsky-Sacchetti, Ph.D., Thomas
"Discussion of the Paper by David A. Scola, M.D. on “The Hemispheric Specialization of the Human Brain and Its Application to Psychoanalytic Principles”,"
Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry:
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/jeffjpsychiatry/vol2/iss1/6