Jouissance and Repetition Compulsion: Science

Bazan, A. & Detandt, S. (2013).  On the physiology of jouissance: interpreting the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward functions from a psychoanalytic perspective. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 709, 7-13.doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00709

 On the physiology of jouissance: interpreting the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward functions from a psychoanalytic perspective

 Jouissance is a Lacanian concept, infamous for being impervious to understanding and which expresses the paradoxical satisfaction that a subject may derive from his symptom. On the basis of Freud’s “experience of satisfaction” we have proposed a first working definition of jouissance as the (benefit gained from) the motor tension underlying the action which was [once] adequate in bringing relief to the drive and, on the basis of their striking reciprocal resonances, we have proposed thatcentral dopaminergic systems could embody the physiological architecture of Freud’s concept of the drive. We have then distinguished two constitutive axes to jouissance: one concerns the subject’s body and the other the subject’s history. Four distinctive aspects of these axes are discussed both from a metapsychological and from a neuroscience point of view. We conclude that jouissance could be described as an accumulation of body tension, fuelling for action, but continuously balancing between reward and anxiety, and both marking the physiology of the body with the history of its commemoration and arising from this inscription as a constant push to act and to repeat. Moroever, it seems that the mesolimbic accumbens dopaminergic pathway is a reasonable candidate for its underlying physiological architecture.

  • avec Sandrine Detandt, Radio Campus, ULB, 15.11 .2012, « Histoire de savoir/Sciences exactes: sciences sans conscience n’est que ruine de l’âme, oui mais conscience sans science n’est que vilain gros mot», entrevue radiophonique avec Alexandre Wajnberg à propos de la Conférence Internationale du CNEP à l’ULB le 30.11.2012 (« De la pulsion à l’action et de l’intention à l’inhibition »): radio campus 15112012

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