Personality and Personality Disorders

  • Andrea Scalabrini
  • Clara Mucci
  • Georg NorthoffEmail author


Personality is a complex construct that is closely related to the subjective experiences between internal world and external reality, a sense of subjectivity that is referred to the concept of self in psychiatry and psychodynamic literature.

The self-referential activity of the brain is also central in neuroscientific studies; indeed the intertwining of scientific advances in various areas from neuroscience to infant research studying the interactive regulatory processes between the caregiver and the baby is facilitating the integration of various forms of knowledge about the complex construct of personality and self.

Moreover during last years the DSM-5 (2013) in the attempt to ameliorate the assessment of personality disorders (PDs) maintained the categorical personality model contained in DSM-4 but also added an alternative model for PDs, which emphasizes specifically the construct of self and interpersonal relatedness, also considered core aspects for the psychodynamic assessment of personality.

In the first section of this chapter, we attempt to highlight the psychodynamic and neural understanding of different categorical PDs (as listed in DSM-5), while in the second section, we propose a neuropsychodynamic model based on the rest-self overlap (or containment) and rest simulus interaction that can shed a novel light on the multidisciplinary study of the self and interpersonal relatedness considering the altered brain activity in regard to different attachment histories and personality organizations. The aim of this project is to create a bridge between the different organizations and structures of personality and their neurobiological underpinnings.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Scalabrini
    • 1
  • Clara Mucci
    • 1
  • Georg Northoff
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Psychological, Health and Territorial Sciences (DiSPuTer)G. d’Annunzio University of Chieti-PescaraChietiItaly
  2. 2.Mind, Brain Imaging, and Neuroethics, Institute of Mental Health ResearchUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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