Log in

  • Home
  • The Odd Sympathy: From Pendulum Clocks to Reverie

The Odd Sympathy: From Pendulum Clocks to Reverie

  • Friday, December 04, 2020
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Zoom


  • Donations allow SPS to continue its mission to bring psychoanalysis to the Sacramento Valley.
  • This event is free to its membership and the general public, but please RSVP
  • Your donations make SPS possible.

Registration is closed

The Odd Sympathy:


From Pendulum Clocks to Reverie

Friday December 4th  6:30-8:30 PM

John Thor Cornelius, M.D.

Zoom:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86244933305?pwd=OGVOby9JSTUxM2NkWkFMd3JwNC9iQT09


Cost: Free with Suggest Donation


In this talk John Cornelius, MD will describe the curious history and mounting scientific interest in the process of oscillatory synchronization. Beginning through an observation of an ‘odd sympathy’ between pendulum clocks by inventor Christiaan Huygens in 1665, the observation that oscillating systems influence each other in measurable ways has caught the attention of physicists, chaos theorists and brain scientists. Providing a groundbreaking reinterpretation of mental function, we will trace the path of this startling discovery and its immense implications in this talk. Do we have a deeper mechanism of understanding everything from the movement of planets to vision, memory, dreams, schizophrenia, trauma, family systems and reverie?

As an outcome of this talk participants should be able to:

1) Describe the evidence of the role of oscillatory synchronization and dyssynchronization in memory and dreaming.

2) Describe the evidence of the role of oscillatory synchronization and dyssynchronization in the fear response.

3) Describe interbrain entrainment and its possible role in coordinated group mental activity.


John Thor Cornelius is a medical doctor and psychoanalyst who works in Sacramento California. He trained as a psychiatrist and worked psychiatrically in hospitals, outpatient clinics and as the medical director of an intensive county program before going on to complete psychoanalytic training at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. He taught psychoanalysis at the University of California at Davis for many years, is the current president of the Sacramento Psychoanalytic Society and writes and speaks nationally on the intersection of science and psychoanalysis.

Commercial Support: None

Faculty Disclosure: All moderators and planning committee members have disclosed NO financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with commercial companies who have provided products or services, relating presentation(s) or commercial support for this continuing medical education activity. All conflicts of interest have been resolved in accordance with the ACCMA Updated Standards for Commercial Support.


Cornelius, J. T. (2017). The hippocampus facilitates integration within a symbolic field. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 98(5), 1333 1357. doi:10.1111/1745-8315.12617

MacKay, D. G., & Goldstein, R. (2016). Creativity, Comprehension, Conversation and the Hippocampal Region: New Data and Theory. AIMS neuroscience, 3(1), 105–140. https://doi.org/10.3934/Neuroscience.2016.1.105

Totty MS, Chesney LA, Geist PA, Datta S. Sleep-Dependent Oscillatory Synchronization: A Role in Fear Memory Consolidation. Front Neural Circuits. 2017 Jul 6;11:49. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2017.00049. PMID: 28729826; PMCID: PMC5498516.

Peña Ramirez, J., Olvera, L. A., Nijmeijer, H., & Alvarez, J. (2016). The sympathy of two pendulum clocks: beyond Huygens' observations. Scientific reports, 6, 23580. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep23580

Pérez, A., Carreiras, M. & Duñabeitia, J.A. Brain-to-brain entrainment: EEG interbrain synchronization while speaking and listening. Sci Rep 7, 4190 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-04464-4

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software