Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience: Philosophical perspectives

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Neuroscience has long had an impact on the field of psychiatry, and over the last two decades, with the advent of cognitive neuroscience and functional neuroimaging, that influence has been most pronounced. However, many question whether psychopathology can be understood by relying on neuroscience alone, and highlight some of the perceived limits to the way in which neuroscience informs psychiatry.

Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience is a philosophical analysis of the role of neuroscience in the study of psychopathology. The book examines numerous cognitive neuroscientific methods, such as neuroimaging and the use of neuropsychological models, in the context of a variety of psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, dependence syndrome, and personality disorders.

Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience includes chapters on the nature of psychiatry as a science; the compatibility of the accounts of mental illness derived from neuroscience, information-processing, and folk psychology; the nature of mental illness; the impact of methods such as fMRI, neuropsychology, and neurochemistry, on psychiatry; the relationship between phenomenological accounts of mental illness and those provided by naturalistic explanations; the status of delusions and the continuity between delusions and ordinary beliefs; the interplay between clinical and empirical findings in psychopathology and issues in moral psychology and ethics.

With contributions from world class experts in philosophy and cognitive science, this book will be essential reading for those who have an interest in the importance and the limitations of cognitive neuroscience as an aid to understanding mental illness.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: 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.
From the Publisher
"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."—Doody's
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Matthew Broome is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Warwick and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist to the Coventry Early Intervention Team, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust. His main research interests are in the prodromal phase of psychosis, cognitive neuropsychology of delusion formation, functional neuroimaging and the philosophy of psychiatry and cognitive science. Matthew Broome is Chair of the Philosophy Special Interest Group, Royal College of Psychiatrists, a member of the editorial board of European Psychiatry; Neuroethics; Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, a founder member of the Maudsley Philosophy Group and Trustee of the Maudsley Philosophy Group Trust and was awarded the Association of European Psychiatrists' Prize for Psychopathology in 2006. Lisa Bortolotti is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Birmingham (UK). Her main research interests are in the philosophy of the cognitive sciences and in the intersection between philosophy of mind and ethics. She has published a number of articles on belief ascription, rationality and delusions in journals such as Mind & Language and Philosophical Psychology. She is the author of a textbook in the Philosophy of Science for Polity Press, and she is working on a monograph defending the doxastic conception of delusions. Lisa Bortolotti was awarded a 2008 Endeavour Research Fellowship, funded by the Australian Government, to spend 4-6 months working at the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Sciences.

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