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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is an important new book addressing a fundamental issue: can cognitive neuroscience be used as a tool to understand brain and behavior relationships and in particular whether psychopathology can be studied within a cognitive neuroscience framework alone using functional brain imaging and neuropsychological measures? It seems reasonable, as neuroscience suggests, that the mind is what the brain does, and if psychopathology can be understood as alterations of the computation/information processing functions of the various processes that are involved in that form of psychopathology (be it an altered mood state, a belief or a perception, etc.), then cognitive neuroscience should appropriately be applied to psychopathology. However, as this book addresses, are there limits that cognitive neuroscience has in informing us on psychopathology? Written and edited by group of internationally recognized researchers on the cognitive neuroscience of psychopathology, this book is an outstanding summary of the contemporary issues in the study of mind, brain, and phenomenology.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a "philosophical analysis of the role of neuroscience in the study of psychopathology." The book addresses the importance as well as the limitations of cognitive neuroscience as an aid in understanding psychopathology.
Audience: The target audience includes cognitive neuroscientists studying psychiatric disorders as well as philosophers studying psychopathology and phenomenology. Anyone interested in the conceptual issues of bringing science to bear on the understanding of mental illness would benefit from reading this book.
Features: The 17 chapters are organized into seven sections that cover psychiatry as a science, the nature of mental illness, reconciling paradigms between psychiatry and philosophy, psychiatry and neuroscience, scientific analysis of phenomenology and a scientific understanding of delusions, the neuroscientific contributions to moral psychology, and the future of scientific psychology. This is a scholarly book and contains relevant and contemporary citations of the scientific and philosophical literature.
Assessment: This is an excellent entree for readers interested in the importance of understanding behavior and psychopathology scientifically. It is essential reading for those involved in the understanding of mind and brain.