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Satisfaction at last neuropsychoanalysis of sex,
drive and enjoyment

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NPSA – The Neuropsychoanalysis Association

NPSA 20th International Congress: What is the standing of Freudian theory in the light of modern neuroscience when it comes to drives, pleasure, enjoyment and sex? To date, Neuropsychoanalysis might be seen as a rather desexualized body of theories, studies and methods: sexual topics pop up here and there, but not in any systematic way that recognizes sexuality as a constitutive foundation of the human condition. This congress aims to rectify this impression by directing our attention to questions like:

  • What is sex? What is libido? What is an erogenous zone?
  • Do we have to reconsider the Freudian notion of infantile sexuality?
  • What about affect, emotion and drive in the sexual act and in sexuality?
  • Are we enslaved to love? What is the role played by reward in love, addiction or sex?
  • What can we say about the role of the object in the sexual act and in sexuality: partial, transitional, sublime, exquisite – including lost objects?
  • Are there specific (neuroscientific, conceptual, clinical) reasons to distinguish feminine enjoyment?

The NPSA congress will take inspiration from Freud’s notion of the “experience of satisfaction” as well as from various post-Freudian notions, such as the prominent place given by Lacan to enjoyment (Jouissance) in relation to human subjectivity. Thus, we might ask:

  • Is Freud’s interpretation of the experience of satisfaction still tenable, more than a century later? Do we need to revisit the relation between needs, libido, drive and desire in light of current neuroscientific findings?
  • What about the relation between Freud’s repetition compulsion and Lacan’s Jouissance in the light of modern neurosciences?
  • How do we conceive of death drive in this discussion?
  • What (neuroscientific) grounds are there for the introduction of multiple forms of enjoyment, as Lacan’s work suggests: phallic enjoyment, “autre jouissance”, surplus enjoyment (“plus-déjouir”)?
  • What about the idea of a sexual relationship, of which Lacan states that there is no such thing (“Il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel”)?

The congress will take place at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) / Solbosch Campus, Brussels.

Local Organizing Committee: Ariane Bazan, Gertrudis van de Vijver, Lisa Ouss, Sandrine Detandt, Giulia Olyff,  Jasper Feyaerts, Marieke van Dam and Davy Blekman, working with

The International NPSA Congress Committee: Nicolai Axmacher, Anna Chapman, Mark Solms, Oliver Turnbull, Maggie Zellner and Paula Barkay.


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A preliminary version of our programme is now available!

Please note that this programme is subject to revision,
including the shifting of research presentation slots.

To view the latest programme, please click here.


(click on names for more details)

Valerie Voon
Dany Nobus
Guy Le Gaufey
Aikaterini Fotopoulou
Ariane Bazan
Gertrudis van der Vijver
Mark Solms
Oliver Turnbull
Lisa Ouss


Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) / Solbosch Campus

The full address of the venue and the name of the auditorium are as follows:

Université libre de Bruxelles

La Salle Dupréel,
ULB Campus du Solbosch
Bâtiment ‘S’
Avenue Jeanne 44
1050 Bruxelles


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