During his first 20 professional years, Freud was a neuroscientist and neurologist. His intention was to map the structure and function of the human consciousness and of course he realized that this was intimately associated with the structure and function of the human brain. He saw the separation between psychoanalysis and neuroscience as a pragmatic decision, due to the limited research methods of the time, when it came to studying the brain and nervous system.
Today, we have much more advanced methods for studying the dynamic nature of consciousness and identifying the neural organization that constitutes the substructure called the unconscious.
Of course, there are still limitations in today's methods and we have a long way to go before we can say that we understand how consciousness works and how mental illness arises and should be treated. In my opinion, we need to be humble about this great task and realize that all of our explanatory models are provisional.
I can only state that the brain is a subjective, perceptive being, capable of experiencing itself, with emotions, with will, and with a spontaneous sense of action, as well as a real object, capable of perceiving outer reality with its five senses.
It is also my belief that one needs to focus on both positive influences, instincts and desires as well as so-called negatives in order to find a viable path in the wilderness of life
Source: Mark Solms och Oliver Turnbull