Late last year we were asked by American science and technology magazine, Discover Magazine to do a portrait shoot of Professor Mark Solms, world renowned neuropsychologist and head of the University of Cape Town’s department of psychology.
This meant Martin got the opportunity to photograph him in his study in the old homestead which dates from the seventeenth century and which Mark and his family calls home.
The portrait had to illustrate an article titled The Second Coming of Sigmund Freud that explores Mark’s work on the use of psychoanalytic methods and theories in contemporary neuroscience to understand the working of the human brain,
As the author of the Discover magazine article, Kat MacGowan explains:
The point is not to prove that Freud was right, but to apply the techniques of modern biology to explore some of his most enduring ideas. It’s to put the study of the mind back in the study of the brain, says Solms: “What neuropsychoanalysis is all about is this: How does the actual stuff of being a person relate to the tissue and physiology and anatomy and chemistry of the brain?” Psychoanalysis has insightful, provocative theories about emotions, unconscious thoughts and the nature of the mind. Neurobiology has the ability to test these ideas with powerful tools and experimental rigor. Together, the two fields might finally answer the most elusive question of them all: How is it that dreams, fantasies, memories and feelings — the subjective self — emerge from a hunk of flesh.
Mark who has published more than 300 papers in neuroscientific and psychoanalytic journals, and five books, including The Neuropsychology of Dreams (1997), Clinical Studies in Neuropsychoanalysis (2000) and The Brain and the Inner World (2002), also co-chairs the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society.