The Episodic Unconscious: Semicontrolled Unconscious Processing of Episodic and Affective Material

  • Benjamin Kissin
Part of the Psychobiology of Human Behavior book series (PSPS, volume 1)


In this chapter, we begin to explore in psychobiological terms the Freudian concept of the dynamic unconscious. The question as to whether episodic material is continually processed at some unconscious level during the alert conscious state, during altered states of consciousness, in deep sleep, and during REM sleep is perhaps the most critical issue to be raised in this volume. Granted the importance of unconscious procedural operations, these hardly bear on the kinds of mental activities postulated in Freud’s “dynamic unconscious.” Procedural and structural operations are merely the processes through which the unstructured stuff of perceptions and behavioral reactivities are organized into manageable entities that can be utilized by the organism to cope efficiently with the demands of the internal and external milieus. In themselves, they do not transmit information; they merely encode that information so as to make it usable. At the opposite end of the stimulus—response spectrum, they organize and implement the motor responses that have been decided on by the conscious—unconscious self.


Stroop Effect Galvanic Skin Response Altered State Deep Sleep Unconscious Processing 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Kissin
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Science CenterState University of New YorkBrooklynUSA

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