A Frontal Lobe Refresher
a1 New Mexico Veteran's Administration Health Care System and University of New Mexico Department of Psychiatry, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Pathology. Jarl Risberg and Jordan Grafman (Eds.). 2006. New York: Cambridge University Press. 240 pp., $70.00 (PB)
Pathology is an edited volume comprised of chapters that are the result of presentations at the annual Advanced Studies Institute sponsored by the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) and by the Vivian Smith Foundation. The eight chapters represent multiple approaches to studying or understanding the frontal lobes, including: evolution and genetics, primate frontal lobe neuroanatomy, cognitive neuroscience models of frontal lobe functioning, microcircuit models based on single neuron recording, developmental models of frontal lobe functioning, case studies of frontal lobe lesion patients, functional neuroimaging of frontal lobe activity, and postmortem neuropathological findings in demented patients. This is a solid but not comprehensive list of approaches to understanding frontal lobe functioning, but the editors clearly state that this volume is not designed to be an exhaustive review. Rather, it is a volume that is better viewed as the state of the art of selected approaches to frontal lobe research as of about 2004, when most of the authors presented a variation of the chapter to the INS Summer Institute. With these qualifications in mind, I can say that the volume is a useful overview that will inform the reader of current and future directions in frontal lobe research.