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Mind and brain: building bridges linking neurology, psychiatry, and psychology 

Mind and brain: building bridges linking neurology, psychiatry, and psychology

Chapter:
Mind and brain: building bridges linking neurology, psychiatry, and psychology
Author(s):

A. Zeman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.2402_update_002

Update:

This chapter was reviewed in January 2015 and minor changes made.

Updated on 30 Jul 2015. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 24 May 2017

‘The great regions of the mind correspond to the great regions of the brain.’

Paul Broca

‘… the master unsolved problem of biology: how the hundred million nerve cells of the brain work together to create consciousness …’

E.O. Wilson, Consilience, 1998

Here is one view of the relationship between medicine and psychiatry. Physicians study, diagnose, and treat disorders of the body; psychiatrists (by contrast) study, diagnose, and treat disorders of the mind. Medicine has to do mainly with processes in objects, such as the circulation of blood to the kidneys; psychiatrists concern themselves mainly with the experiences of subjects, such as auditory hallucinations. Medical disorders are ‘organic’; psychiatric disorders are ‘functional’. Medicine is mainly a science; psychiatry mainly an art. The brain, on this view, occupies an ambiguous position, poised between body and mind: it is an ambiguous intermediary, a skilful interpreter between the languages of mind and body. Nevertheless, disorders of body and mind can and should be rigorously distinguished....

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