April 1960

Modern Attitudes Toward the Relationship of the Brain to Behavior

Author Affiliations

Director of Research, Illinois State Psychiatric Institute.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(4):361-378. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590100001001

Question: Does brain think, and do nerves feel, and is there intelligence in matter?

Answer: No, not if God is true and mortal man a liar.

—Mary Baker Eddy

There was a time, not so long ago, when a psychiatrist was expected to be psychobiologically oriented,93 but today any young man applying for a position in psychiatry is almost certain to be asked, as one of the qualifications, whether he is psychodynamically oriented. It is proper, in the beginning of our discussion, to inquire what is the meaning of the term “psychodynamically oriented”; what is its frame of reference? “Meaning in ordinary language signifies the object referred to by a certain word.”99

It seems that there is no generally accepted definition of psychodynamics, but those addicted to this form of explanation have in common that they believe psychic events to have power to create behavior

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