[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 22, 1985

The Broken Brain: The Biological Revolution in Psychiatry

Author Affiliations

University of Minnesota Medical School Minneapolis

JAMA. 1985;253(12):1798. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350360124035

Mental illness has long been a dilemma not explained satisfactorily by myth, superstition, rational thought, or theory. This book describes the current move to transpose the scope of psychiatry from broad mind theories to specific brain-function processes. It examines the change being fomented in the past ten to 20 years as psychiatry becomes more scientific and biologic in its orientation, rejoining the neurosciences and moving away from psychoanalytic theories.

The author presents this book as a general but comprehensive informational source rather than as a textbook. She points out that the early roots of European psychiatry were laid by Kraeplin and not Freud, as has been emphasized in the United States. Kraeplin, as a professor of medicine, concentrated on the major mental disorders, in contrast to Freud, who concentrated on the milder illnesses, termed the "neuroses." Behaviorism, the approach of Watson, was added in this country. The last two figures