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From The CriticsReviewer: Cristina Orfei, MD(University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This is a detailed update of the functional role of the amygdala in the mechanism of memory and emotion in humans, non-humans, and rats. The role of the amygdala in schizoaffective disorders, autism, posttraumatic stress disorders, affective disorder, and addictive behavior are described. There is a special chapter on amygdala abnormalities in Alzheimer's Disease. The previous edition was published in 1992.
Purpose: The purpose is to inform and promote future amygdala research. This is a worthy objective as the interconnection between embedded memories and emotional content is fundamental to the understanding of posttraumatic stress disorder and addictive behavior. The objective of linking neuroanatomical substrates to behavioral manifestations is fully reached by the several authors of the book.
Audience: This book is written for neurobiologists, research psychologists, and neuropsychiatrists.
Features: The topics dwell on the connection between long term potentiation in the process of memorization to emotional stimuli and rewarding mechanisms. Neuroanatomical substrates and functions are explored by analysis of different pathways connecting the amygdala to the orbitofrontal cortex, temporal cortex, hypothalamus, substantia nigra, and brain stem. Areas that are particularly well covered are the neurophysiology and function of the primate amygdala, in particular the mechanisms of long term potentiation and long term depression seen as mechanisms if bi-directional capacity of synaptic activity, and the phenomena of kindling as a model of long term neuronal expressions. Of interest is the inclusion of functional MRI images in documenting recognition of emotions from facial expressions.
Assessment: This second edition is needed to provide a comprehensive insight into different levels of research on the amygdala in the areas of functional imaging, studies of facial processing after amygdala damage, specific cytotoxic lesions of primate amygdala, long term potentiation, and depression.