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 brain mechanisms and the 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 the causes of disease were selected by evolutionaryforces or simply by-products of other species-specific characteristics. This 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, this 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, this book shows how a consideration of evolutionary factors in psychiatry can improve our understanding and treatment of specific disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, and others.
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