Philosophy and cognitive-affective neurogenetics

Dan J. Stein

in Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780199238033
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754562 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

Philosophy and cognitive-affective neurogenetics

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  • Psychiatry
  • Clinical Neuroscience


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Cognitive-affective neuroscience has provided a set of constructs and methods for studying psychology and psychopathology. While genetics has long been touted as potentially important in understanding mental disorders, recent work has led to specific advances in our knowledge of the role of particular gene variants in psychological phenomena. In terms of understanding the proximal mechanisms underlying mental illness, an important implication of this work is that multiple genes with relatively small effects may play a role. An understanding of functional gene polymorphisms may also shed light on the distal mechanisms contributing to mental illness; particular variants may have survival value in particular environments. The chapter considers the implications of cognitive-affective neurogenetics for some key questions in the philosophy of psychiatry. It argues that although this work may inform conceptual issues in diagnosis and treatment, a range of other considerations will continue to remain paramount in decisions about nosology and intervention.

Chapter.  3960 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Clinical Neuroscience

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