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Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of Mind

Eric R. Kandel
Foreword by Herbert Pardes, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-199-6
  • Item #62199

Description

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.

Contents

CONTRIBUTORS
FOREWORD
INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1. PSYCHOTHERAPY AND THE SINGLE SYNAPSE: THE IMPACT OF PSYCHIATRIC THOUGHT ON NEUROBIOLOGIC RESEARCH
Chapter 2. A NEW INTELLECTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR PSYCHIATRY
Chapter 3. BIOLOGY AND THE FUTURE OF PSYCHOANALYSIS: A NEW INTELLECTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR PSYCHIATRY REVISITED
Chapter 4. FROM METAPSYCHOLOGY TO MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: EXPLORATIONS INTO THE NATURE OF ANXIETY
Chapter 5. NEUROBIOLOGY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: THE SECOND ENCOUNTER
Chapter 6. NEURAL SCIENCE: A CENTURY OF PROGRESS AND THE MYSTERIES THAT REMAIN
Chapter 7. THE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF MEMORY STORAGE: A DIALOGUE BETWEEN GENES AND SYNAPSES
Chapter 8. GENES, BRAINS, AND SELF-UNDERSTANDING: BIOLOGY’S ASPIRATIONS FOR A NEW HUMANISM
AFTERWORD
INDEX

About the Authors

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.

In Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of the Mind, Eric R. Kandel M.D., invites the reader to accompany him on one of the most important, relevant and exciting journeys of our era: how he has used his own superb mind to explore how the minds of all of us work. We are guided on this intimate and exciting excursion not only by Dr. Kandel but also by other prominent pioneers in the investigation of the human mind, in both function and dysfunction. This path of discovery takes unpredictable twists and routes from pre-World War II Austria, where Eric Kandel was born, to Dr. Kandel's formative, psychoanalytically-oriented experiences in medical school and his psychiatry residency at Harvard's Massachusetts Mental Health Center, to his research training at the National Institute of Mental Health, to Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he has been studying for three decades the molecules in the brains of the sea snail, Aplysia californicus. Dr. Kandel's personal, intellectual, and academic excursion represents the progress and potential of the fields of psychiatry, psychology and the behavioral sciences in integrating the understanding of mind and brain towards the purpose of helping those among us who suffer from mental disorders. As such, I recommend Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and the New Biology of the Mind as mandatory (albeit, altogether enjoyable) reading for all mental health professionals and for anyone else wishing to understand where science is taking us in the understanding the role of the brain and biology in mental processes and the human condition.—Stuart C. Yudofsky, M.D., D.C. and Irene Ellwood Professor and Chairman, The Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas


Eric Kandel, the greatest psychiatrist-neurobiologist of the past half-century, cracked open the ‘black box’ of the neural mechanisms of learning and memory. His work and what has flowed from it has implications for psychiatry which parallel those that the breaking of the genetic code had for the field of molecular biology. The conceptions and framework which developed from the work of Kandel will provide key underpinnings of psychiatry for the next half century. Every aspect of our field, from theory to therapeutics—psychodynamic, behavioral, pharmacological—has gained from his approach. In this important and inspiring volume, some of Kandel’s key integrative and forward looking papers related to the intersection of psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and neurobiology have been reproduced with thoughtful commentaries and perspectives by leaders in American psychiatry and behavioral science. A tour de force. Magnificent!—Jack D. Barchas, M.D., Barklie McKee Henry Professor & Chair, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Payne Whitney Manhattan & Westchester, Weill Med College of Cornell Univ, New York-Presbyterian Hospital


This Nobel laureate's scientific path through the structures of the mind intrigues, entices, and rewards the explorer-reader much as clinical complexities of the mind demand our attention and draw patients to make changes. Dr. Kandel's path, though, uniquely teaches us the (currently) absolute neurological truths about how our mentation changes. . . . To miss this volume is to wander in the dark. The reader will find the pleasure of discovery on every page, with outstanding illustrations and explanations that make this path irresistible. An exhaustive and helpful index spans all 8 lectures as one whole. This reader can't wait to go back and walk that whole path with Dr. Kandel again. Everyone in our profession should share this experience.—Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1/1/2006

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