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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: Structured as a dictionary, this survey of the concepts of consciousness integrates the latest research into its over 250 entries.
Purpose: According to the editors, their hope was to create a guide for students of consciousness. They note, "As such, this volume aims to provide a comprehensive account — a map, if you like — of current work on consciousness."
Audience: The book targets a wide range of readers, from beginning students "wishing to understand a concept" to professional researchers "looking for the best characterization of a particular phenomenon." Tim Bayne is university lecturer at the University of Oxford; Axel Cleeremans is a research director with the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique and professor at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles; and Patrick Wilken is founder of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. There are over 200 contributors from the United States, England, Israel, Australia, and Canada.
Features: The book's 250-plus entries are arranged in alphabetical order. A typical entry begins with a short introduction to the topic, followed by a description of subtopics and a conclusion. Research is an important part of the entry and numerous figures help explain the topic. References conclude each entry, many of which are 2 to 3 pages long. The book includes 12 color plates grouped in the middle.
Assessment: This excellent book not only defines terms of consciousness but also provides analysis by integrating research findings. It will be useful for seasoned veterans as well as novices in the field.