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Articles   |    
The New Soviet Approach to the Unconscious
NANCY ROLLINS
Am J Psychiatry 1974;131:301-304.
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Associate in Psychiatry, Children's Hospital Medical Center, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, Mass. 02115 and Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

1974, The American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Soviet investigators have moved from criticism of psychoanalytic concepts to development of a theory of the unconscious that represents the convergence of set theory, neurophysiology, and cybernetics. One accepted Soviet definition of the unconscious is the continuous processing of information and the regulation of adaptive behavior through the formation of sets. Consciousness operates intermittently, when a problem must be solved by objectivization, with a change in sets. Conscious and unconscious processes act synergistically, not antagonistically, as Freud suggested. Dissociation, psychosomatic relationships, and psychotherapy are briefly discussed to illustrate the Soviet approach to the unconscious in psychiatry.

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