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March 14, 1977

Biological Foundations of Psychiatry

JAMA. 1977;237(11):1155. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270380099033

Biological psychiatry is an interdisciplinary science that studies the basic foundations of behavior, including the abnormal behavior of the mentally ill. It brings to bear on psychiatric problems the armamentaria of physics, chemistry, cell biology, neurophysiology, psychopharmacology, and genetics. The individual authors are, for the most part, outstanding in their respective fields.

The first volume deals with the broad aspects of genetics and behavior in psychiatry, followed by a review of physiology and behavioral data. The excellent overview of genetics and behavior in psychiatry in the first volume touches on material in the second volume regarding genetic factors in schizophrenia and the genetics of affective disorder. Some of the topics covered in the first volume include hemispheric specialization, sensory and perceptive factors in emotional functions of the brain, drive and motivation, and the neurobiology of motivated behavior. Also discussed are hunger and thirst, the neural basis of threatened attack, the