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<jats:p>Neuroscience, encouraged by the advent of approaches at the molecular level, is finally beginning to play an important part in the theoretical basis of psychiatry. Although its immediate effect on clinical practice remains limited, this too is likely to change within the near future. Psychiatrists, and Membership candidates in particular, are now expected to be <jats:italic>au fait</jats:italic> with everything from conduction of the nerve impulse to second messengers and linkage analysis. Unfortunately, the complexity and breadth of the underlying science is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, making it difficult to keep up to date with advances. The following are offered as readable overviews of the neuroscientific areas especially relevant to psychiatry, with an emphasis on publications or editions produced within the past three years, since the rate of progress renders most texts rapidly redundant. The broader question of how all this neuroscience is going to alter psychiatry – for better or worse – has also attracted considerable debate, if few conclusions (e.g. Pardes, 1986; Detre, 1987).</jats:p>

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Psychiatry


Royal College of Psychiatrists

Publication Date





891 - 893