Author(s): Rybakowski J
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Abstract Psychological processes of learning may lead to biological changes in brain synapses, as was shown by Eric Kandel, Nobel laureate for 2000. Factors connected with learning (for instance, psychotherapeutic procedures) can modify the expression of genes occurring in brain cells. Current neurobiological research make it possible to explain some theoretical concepts and mechanisms of action of psychotherapy on the ground of basic medical sciences. Experimental and clinical studies point to a prominent role for early untoward life experiences in brain development and vulnerability for psychiatric disturbances. Neuroimaging studies demonstrated the existence of unconscious processes in both cognitive and emotional functions. In several studies, changes in brain function or in the biology of whole organism were measured, under the influence of psychotherapy. It was found that in such illnesses as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder, similar changes in brain functions, as measured with neuroimaging methods, were observed either after pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy. The attempts have been also made to interpret psychotherapeutic mechanisms in the light of current concepts of memory processes, functioning of brain circuits or neurobiological theories of character and temperament.
This article was published in Psychiatr Pol
and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology