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English, O.S. (1944). Borderlands of Psychiatry: By Stanley Cobb. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1943. 166 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 13:222-223.

(1944). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 13:222-223

Borderlands of Psychiatry: By Stanley Cobb. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1943. 166 pp.

Review by:
O. Spurgeon English

The author states in his introduction that 'this is neither a text book nor a monograph; probably it is best described as a series of essays on a group of subjects that have long been of especial interest to the author'. These essays are an elaboration of a series of lectures given in 1940 before the Lowell Institute. He begins by discussing the body-mind problem and in the first chapter gives several excellent cases illustrating the impossibility of making a scientific approach to the study of disease by a wholly somatic or a wholly psychic ideology. He goes on to the subject of the evolution of speech, vision and intellect with an extra chapter on speech and language defects. He then discusses the function of the frontal areas of the human brain and follows this by an essay on the anatomical basis of the emotions. Next there is a discussion of consciouness and disturbances in consciousness and he finally concludes his book with essays on psychoneurosis and psychosomatics.

As usual, Dr. Cobb's writing is concise and forthright and makes difficult subjects as clear as possible. There are some excellent charts on the incidence of borderline disorders in the community as well as some diagrams on the brain areas which make the reading of the text more understandable. The case histories are also diagrammed in a way that would serve as a model for psychosomatic history taking.

This book is written in a manner that is readily utilizable by the medical student and yet at the same time it covers topics upon which the teacher and the clinician are always seeking more enlightenment.

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