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Evans, H.M. (2000). The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life: Joseph LeDoux. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996, 384 pp., $25.00.. Neuropsychoanalysis, 2(1):91-95.

(2000). Neuropsychoanalysis, 2(1):91-95

The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life: Joseph LeDoux. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996, 384 pp., $25.00.

Review by:
Henry M. Evans, M.D.

This book comes at a propitious time. Interest in what neuroscience has to say about mind, brain, and mental functioning is growing among psychoanalysts while interest in emotion, unconscious processes, and consciousness is on the rise among neuroscientists. Interdisciplinary dialogue is bound to increase further, with neuroscientists bringing fresh perspectives to psychoanalysts and vice versa. Analysts can facilitate this process by expanding their understanding of developments in neuroscientific thinking, identifying aspects having particular relevance for psychoanalytic practice and research. Few neuroscientists speak to that interface with the authority and appeal of Joseph LeDoux (Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science, Center for Neural Science, New York University). Psychoanalysts both new to and already familiar with neuroscientific work will find his book, The Emotional Brain, highly informative. He has succeeded in making this work accessible while not shorting readers on the neuroscience. Also, he provides a worthwhile and well-annotated review of relevant developments in the field of psychology. The ideas of William James, Cannon, Arnold, and of numerous more contemporary thinkers are to be found here, with brief overviews of their pertinent work and of the research their ideas generated.


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