There has recently been a flurry of theoretical activity in affective neuroscience and neuropsychoanalysis. This book argues that the ability to integrate biological and psychological levels of understanding is inhibited by two important issues. First is the assumption made by most theorists that physical and mental phenomena are essentially different ("the Hard Problem"). Second, is the ambiguity of the widely used "Affect Concept".
Ideas about the autonomic nervous system are integrated with those from the author's previous textA Basic Theory of Neuropsychoanalysis.The Realisation of Conceptsis based on four key assumptions: (1) There is no "Hard Problem"; (2) Motivational theory and cognitive theory can be integrated to create more valid models of body, brain and mind interactions; (3) "Affect Concepts" are superfluous and work to inhibit theory integration; and, (4) Affect theory developed as a "compromise formation" in response to radical reductionism.
Dynamic parasympathetic braking processes are seen as centrally important causes of competence to use semantic self and nonself-concepts to regulate sensory data, feelings, other concepts, and overt behavior. A model is presented which describes how levels of sympathetic arousal and parasympathetic tone interact to cause normal, pathological and highly competent brain and mind states. Combining talk therapies with real time biofeedback data is described as a method for enhancing the parasympathetic tone.