Neurobiology of Violence, Second Edition [NOOK Book]


Every clinician today needs a basic understanding of what causes violent behavior. The second edition of Neurobiology of Violence synthesizes current research on the origins of violence and reveals its implications for managing aggressive patients and minimizing risk.

Author Jan Volavka, currently Chief of Clinical Research at the Nathan S. Kline Institute, spent time in a Nazi prison as a child and has devoted much of his career to studying violence in humans. In Neurobiology ...

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Neurobiology of Violence, Second Edition

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Every clinician today needs a basic understanding of what causes violent behavior. The second edition of Neurobiology of Violence synthesizes current research on the origins of violence and reveals its implications for managing aggressive patients and minimizing risk.

Author Jan Volavka, currently Chief of Clinical Research at the Nathan S. Kline Institute, spent time in a Nazi prison as a child and has devoted much of his career to studying violence in humans. In Neurobiology of Violence, Second Edition, he brought together research and clinical data from many diverse disciplines in a single-authored volume with a unified voice that is clearly written and interesting to read.

Neurobiology of Violence, Second Edition, will give you a firm grounding in a complex subject that will help you diagnose, manage, and predict violent behavior. In the first part of the book you'll examine the basic science of the origins of violence in humans, such as • Factors in animal aggression that have parallels in human aggression, including the relationship between serotonin and aggression • The genetic and environmental factors that interplay from conception to adulthood to result in violence.• In the latter part, you'll develop new insights and strategies for working with violent patients in discussions of the latest clinical science, including• Major mental disorders and violent behaviors, including behaviors expressed in the community and those in psychiatric hospitals • Alcohol and various drugs and the tendencies of each type of abuse to predispose people to violence• Current psychopharmacological approaches to managing violent behavior in patients.

With more than 1000 updated references, the second edition of Neurobiology of Violence is a seminal resource for clinicians. It is an important tool for psychiatrists, neurologists, psychologists, and all other clinicians who struggle to understand and treat violent patients.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Howard M. Kravitz
This book reviews the psychobiologic origins (not the consequences) of violence. Violence, aggression, and hostility are defined, methods of measuring these behaviors and attitudes are reviewed, and coverage of the basic sciences provide a framework for and transition into the discussion of the clinical research. The purpose is to update, summarize, and critically evaluate the field of neurobiology of violence, with the primary emphasis on human aggression. The multifaceted literature, including a chapter on animal studies, is integrated into a coherent volume. These worthy objectives are well met in this book. Although directed toward psychiatric researchers specializing in studies of violence, its scientific orientation provides a theoretical basis for clinical care that can be appreciated by psychiatric practitioners. Perhaps professionals in the criminal justice system may find it of interest. Research is critically reviewed -- large databases of literature are digested and presented in a comprehensive and comprehensible style. The author is an expert in the field of violence research, and his careful reviews and commentary have produced a well-organized, annotated resource. Beginning with the book jacket, which is illustrated with a reproduction of a painting from the Art Institute of Chicago, through the appendix explaining actuarial predictions of violence using Bayes decision statistics, the book is first-rate. The general layout is excellent, the print is clear, and line drawings and tables, mainly reproduced or adapted from primary sources, enhance the text. Each section is clearly summarized for the reader. This well-referenced book includes selections as current as 1994.This artfully crafted review of the neurobiology of violence is not just a litany of the literature, but a thoughtful and cogent critical analysis of the major works in the field. One need not be a researcher to follow the flow or to understand the points being explicated. In the introduction, the author states that there is a lack of an integrated theory of violent behavior, and then he proceeds to show the reader how the many and disparate sources of data can be organized. This thoroughly researched text belongs in medical, law, and social sciences libraries. Also, professionals dealing with violent behavior should consider adding this text to their library.
From The Critics
Volavka (psychiatry, New York U.) synthesizes his own research and that of others into the neurobiological basis of aggression. The second edition incorporates findings published during the past five years. He begins with the scientific fundamentals, then looks at personality disorders and impulse control, psychoactive substance abuse, patients in and out of hospitals, and biological treatment. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Addresses the origins rather than the consequences of violence, presenting evidence for the psychobiological origins of violence. Defines violence, aggression, and hostility and reviews methods of measuring these behaviors, and integrates data on violence from neurochemistry, neurology, psychopharmacology, and criminology. Topics include personality disorders and impulse control, violence and substance abuse, and congenital and demographic factors, as well as pharmacological treatment. Includes some 60 pages of references. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From The Critics
Reviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, D.O., M.A.(University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is the second edition of an outstanding book covering the neuroscientific underpinnings of violent behavior. Written and edited by an internationally recognized expert in the field, this book is an extremely valuable contribution to psychiatry.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a comprehensive, critical, up-to-date, and clinically useful overview of the biological aspects of violence and aggression. The author has succeeded in producing a superb second edition.
Audience: The intended audience includes psychiatrists, psychologists, neuropsychologists, and neuroscientists. Anyone interested in the latest scientific understanding of this ubiquitous problem would benefit from reading and referring to this book.
Features: This enormous book features 388 pages divided into 12 chapters. Areas covered include definitions and classifications, animal aggression, neurophysiology and genetics, neuropsychological and brain imaging aspects of violence, congenital and demographic factors, development and personality, substance abuse, psychiatric illness, violence on inpatient units, and biological treatments. There is a useful appendix containing a statistical explanation of the actuarial method, an up-to-date reference section, and a helpful index.
Assessment: This book on the neurobiology of violence, now in its second edition, continues to be an extremely valuable contribution to psychiatry and psychology.
Theodore D. Feldmann

This volume provides an excellent, comprehensive review of the neurobiology of human violence and aggression. It is a well-written and concise work that has considerable relevance to physicians, providing an excellent reference for those interested in this topic.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585627820
  • Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/13/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 410
  • Sales rank: 1,210,604
  • Product dimensions: 0.60 (w) x 0.90 (h) x 0.07 (d)
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Jan Volavka, M.D., Ph.D., is Chief of the Clinical Research Division at The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center in New York, New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Human aggression and criminal violence: definitions and classifications. Aggression among animals. Neurotransmitters, hormones, and genes. Neurological, neuropsychological, and brain imaging correlates of violent behavior. Congenital and demographic factors. Developmental antecedents of violent behavior. Personality disorders and impulse control. Violence and psychoactive substance abuse. Violent behavior of persons with mental disorders outside of hospitals. Violent behavior of psychiatric inpatients. Biological treatments of violence. Summary and conclusions. Appendix: Statistical explanation of the actuarial method: Bayes decision. Index.

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