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Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind

Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind

by Eric R. Kandel

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Brought together for the first time in a single volume, these eight important and fascinating essays by Nobel Prize-winning psychiatrist Eric Kandel provide a breakthrough perspective on how biology has influenced modern psychiatric thought. Complete with commentaries by experts in the field, Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind reflects the


Brought together for the first time in a single volume, these eight important and fascinating essays by Nobel Prize-winning psychiatrist Eric Kandel provide a breakthrough perspective on how biology has influenced modern psychiatric thought. Complete with commentaries by experts in the field, Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind reflects the author's evolving view of how biology has revolutionized psychiatry and psychology and how potentially could alter modern psychoanalytic thought.

The author's unique perspective on both psychoanalysis and biological research has led to breakthroughs in our thinking about neurobiology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis -- all driven by the central idea that a fuller understanding of the biological processes of learning and memory can illuminate our understanding of behavior and its disorders. These wonderful essays cover • the mechanisms of psychotherapy and medications, showing that both work at the same level of neural circuits and synapses, and the implications of neurobiological research for psychotherapy;• the ability to detect functional changes in the brain after psychotherapy, which enables us, for the first time, to objectively evaluate the effects of psychotherapy on individual patients;• the need for animal models of mental disorders; for example, learned fear, to show how molecules and cellular mechanisms for learning and memory can be combined in various ways to produce a range of adaptive and maladaptive behaviors;• the unification of behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and molecular biology into the new science of the mind, charted in two seminal reports on neurobiology and molecular biology given in 1983 and 2000;• the critical role of synapses and synaptic strength in both short- and long-term learning;• the biological and social implications of the mapping of the human genome for medicine in general and for psychiatry and mental health in particular;

The author concludes by calling for a revolution in psychiatry, one that can use the power of biology and cognitive psychology to treat the many mentally ill persons who do not benefit from drug therapy.

Fascinating reading for psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, social workers, residents in psychiatry, and trainees in psychoanalysis, Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind records with elegant precision the monumental changes taking place in psychiatric thinking. It is an invaluable reference work and a treasured resource for thinking about the future.

Editorial Reviews

4 Stars! from Doody
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This is an outstanding new book containing a collection of essays written by Eric Kandel, MD, the Nobel Prize-winning psychiatrist-neurobiologist. He has been an instrumental figure in the paradigm shift that has occurred in psychiatry over the past 20 to 30 years, from being based on psychoanalytic theory to, now, neuroscience. As were most psychiatry residents at the time, his training emphasized psychoanalysis of which he grew skeptical, due in part to the dissociation from biology. This collection of essays chronicles his changing vision of psychiatry from his days of training to the present. This book is absolutely essential reading for all psychiatrists and trainees and is a welcome addition to the field.
Purpose: Dr. Kandel relates to his audience how his training in psychiatry and interest in psychoanalysis influenced his thinking and his work. He also details how neurobiology and molecular biology influenced his view of psychiatry and psychoanalysis. It is Dr. Kandel's hope that a new science of the mind will develop that is grounded in the "rigorous framework of molecular biology" as well as "incorporating the humanistic concepts of psychoanalysis."
Audience: The intended audience is psychiatrists. Anyone interested in the mind and behavior would be intrigued by this book.
Features: The book is a collection of his essays from 1979 to the present and includes commentary from his colleagues who are also world-renowned researchers in the field. Each of the eight sections ends with important references. The index is helpful.
Assessment: Although I read most of these essays when they were originally published, it was invigorating to read them again in one volume containing great commentaries. If you were going to read only one book on the current thinking in psychiatry, I recommend this one. Thank you, Dr. Kandel!

This book should facilitate an excitement about understanding brain and behavior. College students, residents, and graduate students would all benefit from reading and discussion Kandel's ideas. It is obvious that Kandel is a good therapist; his writings make us all feel good about our own work and the work of our colleagues!

Science and Theology News

Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind is a celebration of breakthroughs in neural science, the biology of the mind. The book highlights author Eric R. Kandel's role as chief architect and laborer in the construction of a casual link between molecular biology and psychiatry.

Journal of Mental and Nervous Disease

The chapters and commentaries reveal how much has happened in neuroscience during the last 50 years. Those unfamiliar with the discoveries could use this book as a text, and those with a passing acquaintance with modern neuroscience will find out how much they have missed.

British Journal of Psychiatry

[Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of the Mind] will open your eyes to the impressive advances made at the molecular, cellular and systemic level in understanding one of the salient functions of the brain. Kandel writes clearly and with a generous use of illustrations.

Product Details

American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
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File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Samuel Barondes

Eric Kandel is living Sigmund Freud's life in reverse: Freud moved to Vienna as a child, grew intellectual roots in neuroscience, and became an illustrious psychoanalyst, whereas Kandel left Vienna as a child, grew intellectual roots in psychoanalysis, and became an illustrious neuroscientist. In these inspiring essays the mature Kandel expresses a hope that young Freud shared for the solution of some persistent mysteries of the human mind by combining studies of individual psychology with brain research.

Herbert Y Meltzer

These eight essays by Eric Kandel, the Nobel-prize winning psychiatrist and neuroscientist, provide an eloquent, finely elucidated map of his journey from psychiatric resident to the most profound contemporary thinker about the relationships among psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and neuroscience, and how they can facilitate each other's dynamic growth. Kandel's exquisite sensitivity to the humanistic appeal and challenge of the psychotherapeutic encounter and the treatment of the mentally ill, and his unique and comprehensive knowledge about the development and function of our ever changing nervous system, which must be understood at multiple levels of organization, from the gene to the level of mind, is captured in pellucid prose. This is a must read for the clinician, the neuroscientist, as well as the intelligent reader who would understand brain and behavior.

Meet the Author

Eric R. Kandel, M.D., is University Professor at Columbia University, Fred Kavli Professor and Director at the Kavli Institute for Brain Sciences, and a Senior Investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. A graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Kandel trained in Neurobiology at the NIH and in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He joined the faculty of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in 1974 as the founding director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior.

Dr. Kandel's research has been concerned with the molecular mechanisms of memory storage in Aplysia and mice. Dr. Kandel has received thirteen honorary degrees, is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as well as the National Science Academies of Germany and France. He has been recognized with the Albert Lasker Award, the Heineken Award of the Netherlands, the Gairdner Award of Canada, the Wolf Prize of Israel, the National Medal of Science of the USA, and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2000.

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