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Brian Johnson, MD – Just What Lies Beyond the Pleasure Principle?

February 15, 2013 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

In this talk, Dr. Johnson will discuss the biological basis of cathexis, emotional investment in others.  Cathexis involves hormonal systems interacting with SEEKING, especially endogenous opioids and oxytocin. Neurotic conflict is described as a result of conflicting neural systems/goals.  This 21st century neurobiological framework may be used to evaluate Freud’s concepts of the repetition compulsion and the death instinct.  We find that by 1920 Freud had already answered his question of ‘What lies beyond the pleasure principle?’  The repetition compulsion and the death instinct were adventitious.

Dr. Brian Johnson has been the Director of Addiction Psychiatry and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, since 2008.  He taught courses about addiction at Harvard Medical School for 30 years before moving to Upstate.  Dr. Johnson received his medical degree in 1976 from the New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York. After completing his internship at Harlem Hospital, New York City, he completed residencies in medicine at Metropolitan Hospital, New York City, and in psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital, Massachusetts, as well as psychoanalytic training at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute. He is certified in Addiction Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology, and Addiction Psychiatry. He has published extensively in scientific and medical journals about addiction, psychiatry, neuropsychoanalysis, and the effects of various drugs.

The program begins at 6:00 pm with a cocktail reception.  Dinner is served at 6:30 pm and the featured speaker addresses attendees from 7:30 pm, with discussion following the talk.


February 15, 2013
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Emory Brain Health Center, Room 331
12 Executive Park Drive NE, Room 331
Atlanta, GA 30329 United States
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