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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: This book provides an overview of the career of Michael Posner and the contributions he has made to the field of psychology, the neurosciences, and related fields. It includes chapters from leading experts in cognitive neuroscience that bring together Posner's work and integrate it with cutting-edge work in the field of cognitive neuroscience and individuality.
Purpose: The primary purpose of this book is to pay tribute to the instrumental contributions of Michael Posner. Secondarily, it offers a glimpse into the history of the cognitive neuroscience movement and chronicles Posner's humble beginnings. Thirdly, this book presents the latest research findings in areas that are extensions of Posner's work.
Audience: The authors do not state an intended audience, but this would be appropriate for graduate students and academicians in the fields of psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and related areas. Although readers in these fields will likely find it most interesting, the concepts are explained at a broad and reasonable level for non-expert readers.
Features: This book starts out with a brief history of Posner's early academic directions and provides an account of his scientific and theoretical progression through the early years of the cognitive neuroscience movement. It covers such topics as neuroimaging in cognitive research, social development of the brain, frontal circuits and cognitive control, socioeconomic influences on brain development, and brain plasticity. Finally, Posner regales readers with a chapter describing his own experiences and perspectives throughout his career, all the while tackling the fundamental question of how we develop individuality in the brain.
Assessment: While readers deeply involved in this area will undoubtedly find this book an interesting "behind the scenes" look at Michael Posner's career, readers not familiar with this field or Posner's work may find it a bit insipid. Nonetheless, the insightful chapters by leading experts in the field are stimulating and sitting down with the book will be an effortless way to whittle away an afternoon.