Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Facing Proteus: The Neuroscience Of Imagination And The Imagination Of Neuroscience

June 2, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

What does the Jungian imagination look like in the neuroscientist’s laboratory? Can science alone ever hope to explain the phenomenological depths of psyche that Jung described? This lecture will delve into the idea of imagination in Western thought, exploring the topic from historical, psychological, and finally neuroscientific perspectives. We will look into the intellectual roots of Jung’s understanding of image in psyche, the use of imagination in contemporary depth psychology, and how it can (and cannot) be mapped in the brain.

This lecture provides an overview of the current neuroscience of mental images, stories, memories, dreams, and the creative process. We will learn where neuroscience has corroborated Jung’s views of imagination, where it has provided fresh insight, and also where neuroscience is ill-suited to explain meaningful psychic phenomena. We will also discuss the power that contemporary psychology grants to neuroscience and the degree to which that authority is fully warranted. Beyond its objective findings, neuroscience also appears in the psyche as a collection of stories, myths, and images — all of which bear deeper exploration.

JONATHAN ERICKSON, PHD, is a postdoctoral fellow at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where he previously earned his degree in depth psychology and somatics. He is the author of the forthcoming Imagination in the Western Psyche from Routledge and several papers on human-animal relationships, the psychology of religion, and virtual reality, as well as a series of science fiction novels.


June 2, 2021
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Events Category:


C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco
2610 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110 United States
+ Google Map