In mind fields of thought

Human Neuropsychology. First Edition
November 26, 1999

This book is suitable both as a core text for undergraduate psychology modules and as introductory material for postgraduate neuroscience courses. Many of the chapters would also be useful for medical students.

Human Neuropsychology "aims to provide an up-to-date introduction to the issues and problems arising in modern neuropsychology".

There is no specific website associated with this text, although there is a list of websites (including the author's) within the resources appendix.

The text offers a comprehensive introduction to the dementias, reflecting the heightened awareness of cognitive disorders associated with ageing and infection (new-variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). It is unfortunate that the references provided on CJD (1980 and 1987) pre-date a great deal of what we now know. Stanley Prusiner's Nobel prize address (published in Science) would have been more appropriate. Alternatively, citing one of the relevant websites (eg UK CJD Surveillance Unit: http://www. cjd.ed. ac.uk/index.htm) would be more useful than including two historical references that only serve to propagate outmoded ideas.

Similarly, the treatment of motor system disorders ignores recent advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of Huntington's disease, for example, and cites another general textbook as "recommended specific reading" on this subject.

These criticisms aside, Human Neuropsychology is well-developed in providing a detailed introduction to basic neurophysiology and anatomy that equip the novice with sufficient background to tackle the chapters on perceptual, motor, language and emotional disorders that form the main body of this work.

The book ends with a survey of neuro-psychological assessments and details the availability of computer software forperforming these tests. This is a readable and well-organised text that requires supplementation with current resources.

David Carter is reader in neuroscience, University of Cardiff.

Human Neuropsychology. First Edition

Author - G. Neil Martin
ISBN - 0 13 802331 X
Publisher - Prentice Hall
Price - £23.99
Pages - 514

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