This work was initiated with the aim of bringing together the traditions that have helped create modern biological psychiatry. The hope was to craft a perspective that could help project our thinking fruitfully into the future. During the past few decades, we have learned to quantify normal and abnormal brain functions at a level of precision unimaginable just a generation ago. However, progress in biological psychiatry is also based on new theoretical perspectives, for it is only through theory that we can envision what may emerge on the horizon of knowledge. Of course, theory can also be a lens that distorts reality.
Our aim was to seek the middle ground—a balance of facts and theories, as well as consideration of both clinicial and preclinical perspectives. My hope is that this text will be useful for students, teachers, and practitioners, as well as the scientists who harvest the basic knowledge from which future understanding must emerge. I owe a debt of gratitude to the many contributors who took precious time from their busy schedules to summarize the important themes covered in this book. The only regret I have is that space constraints made it impossible to treat all topics as fully as they deserve. Luna Han, the acquisition editor for this contribution, exhibited remarkable forebearance and did not outwardly waver in her faith that the project would reach completion in a reasonably timely manner. That proved to be a challenge for many.
A special word of gratitude goes to my wife Anesa who read and commented extensively on the entire text. Each of the chapters underwent at least one major revision to optimize style and coverage, and several underwent cycles of intellectual adventure for both the contributors and editors. But even where the needs of the book and the desires of authors briefly clashed, the middle road was eventually found. Jeff Burgdorf, Casey Cromwell, and Nikki Gordon also provided assistance at several critical phases of the project. I thank all for their contributions.
We wish to dedicate this text to the many pioneers, past and present, who have devoted their lives to understanding the normal and abnormal functions of the human mind. Many now appreciate that such a quest cannot be completed unless we also try to understand the brains and minds of other creatures. Indeed, some of the most interesting research on mind, brain, and behavioral relations has been emerging from animal research conducted in departments of psychiatry and neurology. This is a tradition in which all of the three giants—Emil Kraepelin, Adolf Meyer, and Sigmund Freud—to xix whom we dedicate this volume were immersed at some point in their illustrious careers. Their portraits are used with the permissions, respectively, of The University of Tartu Library, The Adolf Meyer Library of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, and the Freud Archive, London.
Although each of these pioneers started with physiological and neurological interest, their intellectual paths eventually diverged. However, because of historical and intellectual circumstances that emerged during the 20th century (as summarized in Chapter 1), all hewed paths that made contributions to future efforts to blend mind, brain, and body perspectives to understanding mental disorders. The whole person is no less important that the dizzying arrays of parts of which he or she is composed. Below the surface features of mental phenomena are mechanisms with which we must become conversant in order to make progress, never forgetting that the emergent whole is greater than the parts. This book was constructed with such perspectives in mind, and thank everyone that contributed to this effort.
Jaak Panksepp Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics J.P. Scott Center for Neuroscience, Mind and Behavior
Color image from this volume are available at ftp://ftp.wiley.com/public/sci_tech_med/biological_psychiatry/
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