Textbook of Evolutionary Psychiatry: The origins of psychopathology

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9780199207688: Textbook of Evolutionary Psychiatry: The origins of psychopathology

In the past couple of decades, studies investigating the genetic background of psychiatric disorders have mushroomed. Research into the brain mechanisms and regions of the brain involved in certain dysfunctions have greatly improved our knowledge of the relationship between brain pathology and psychopathology. By contrast, we know far less about 'why' certain individuals remain vulnerable to psychiatric disease at all, and whether they were selected by evolutionary forces or simply by-products of other species-specific characteristics.

This comprehensive book presents a new integrative approach to understanding psychopathological conditions - an approach that embraces cognition, emotion, behaviour, and their nature-nurture interactions. Central to this approach is the introduction of human evolution into the psychiatric model - psychiatrists need to know why the human mind and brain evolved in the way it did. In three parts, the book presents a comprehensive account of human brain evolution in terms of physical features and function, showing how these relate to our current understanding of psychopathology.

Accessibly written, the book shows how a consideration of evolutionary factors in psychiatry can improve our understanding and treatment of specific disorders such as suicidal behaviour, anorexia, and depression.

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About the Author:


Martin Brüne was born in 1962 and graduated from medical school in 1988. He completed specialist training in Neurology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy; his habilitation thesis was finished in 2001. He has been a professor of Psychiatry since 2007. His main research interests are evolutionary psychopathology, social cognition, ethology of psychiatric populations, and psychopathology in great apes.

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"This is an outstanding new book on evolutionary psychopathology. This is a much needed book that helps put psychiatry in its proper place in biology and psychology. Psychiatrists need to read this book!"--Doody's Health Sciences Review


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