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Book Reviews

By The Editors, 1966
Biochemistry and Behavior
S.Eiduson, E.Geller, A.Yuwiler & B.Eiduson.

This is an outstanding summary and review of present-day knowledge regarding the relations between biochemistry and psychological functioning. One section, entitled “Energy, Respiration and Psychological Function,” deals with the various behavorial disturbances and alterations concomitant with alterations in the respiratory cycle.

Another section deals with the so- called “Neurohumors,” also called neural transmitters, such as acetylcholine, norepinephrine, serotonin and others. Other sections deal with “Hormonal Regulation,” chemical diagnosis of mental aberration, “psychoactive agents” (including psychotomimetics, energizers, tranquilizers), biochemical genetics and behavior, etc.

The volume of data assembled is impressive, and in some cases important breakthroughs in understanding seem about ready to appear; and yet the field still lacks unifying principles and models. Published by: Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand Co., 1964. Pp 554, $15.00. Foreword by Dr. Gardner Murphy.

Drugs in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
By Mortimer Ostow, M.D.

This volume takes, as its starting point, Freud’s remark at the end of the Outline of Psychoanalysis: “The future may teach us how to exercise a direct influence, by means of particular chemical substances, upon the amounts of energy and their distribution in the apparatus of the mind. It may be that there are undreamed of possibilities of therapy.” The author describes the action of various drugs, chiefly tranquilizers, in terms of the psychoanalytic system. Thus, tranquilizers are described as reducing the ego's content of libidinal energy, the energizers increase libido.

Extensive theoretical discussions are given, plus two cases of drug-psychotherapy. Other drugs are classed either as ego-intoxicants, imparing ego-functioning, or ego-tonics, improving ego-functioning. The discussion of these other drugs is weak, but the book is interesting in presenting what is probably the first attempt to provide a consistent theoretical model, derived from the psychoanalytic, for the explanation and application of tranquilizers and energizers. Published by: New York, Basic Books, 1962, Pp. 348, $8.50.

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