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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: Recent advances in cognitive neuroscience have expanded our ability to understand the symptoms of mental illness by uniting neurochemical, neurophysiological mechanisms with findings from cognitive neuroscience and descriptive psychopathology. The ascendance of cognitive neuroscience in the field of psychopathology has led to a brain-based understanding of the processes involved in the experiences of hallucinations and delusions, rather than just mind-based. This excellent book summarizes the state of the science of these disturbing yet fascinating phenomena, hallucinations. Written and edited by researchers in the field, this is a welcome addition to psychiatry.
Purpose: The purpose is "to review the latest research on the cognitive and neural bases of hallucinations and outline their unique neurobiology by drawing on evidence from brain imaging and neurotransmission studies." Indeed, the authors have produced a wonderful review of the latest research into this fascinating area.
Audience: The intended audience includes anyone interested in hallucinations. Psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroscientists, and graduate students would benefit from this timely and comprehensive review.
Features: The first three chapters cover definitional and conceptual issues and the groupings of hallucinations and phenomenology. Chapters 4 and 5 review the cognitive and perceptual - the so-called bottom-up and top-down mechanisms involved in hallucinations. Hallucinations and brain function is covered in chapter 6 with coverage of neurotransmission and brain imaging. Chapter 7 presents a comprehensive model of hallucinations, and chapter 8 covers treatment. An additional section on assessment instruments for hallucinations describes various scales of hallucinations. The references are pertinent and timely, and the author/subject indexes are helpful.
Assessment: This is an excellent and comprehensive review of the common but, until recently, scientifically opaque problem of hallucinations. All mental health professions who are involved in the care of individuals with severe mental illness should be aware of the information in this superb book.