Book

The Neuropsychology of Anxiety

Jeffrey A. Gray and Neil McNaughton

Second edition

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780198522713
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191712517 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198522713.001.0001

Series: Oxford Psychology Series

The Neuropsychology of Anxiety

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This book provides an updated theory of the nature of anxiety and the brain systems controlling anxiety, combined with a theory of hippocampal function, which was first proposed thirty years ago. While remaining controversial, the core of this theory, of a ‘Behavioural Inhibition System’, has stood the test of time, with its main predictions repeatedly confirmed. Novel anti-anxiety drugs share none of the side effects or primary pharmacological actions of the classical anti-anxiety drugs on the actions of which the theory was based; but they have both the behavioural and hippocampal actions predicted by the theory. This text is the second edition of the book and it departs significantly from the first. It provides, for the first time, a single construct — goal conflict — that underlies all the known inputs to the system; and it includes current data on the amygdala. Its reviews include the ethology of defence, learning theory, the psychopharmacology of anti-anxiety drugs, anxiety disorders, and the clinical and laboratory analysis of amnesia. The cognitive and behavioural functions in anxiety of the septo-hippocampal system and the amygdala are also analysed, as are their separate roles in memory and fear. Their functions are related to a hierarchy of additional structures — from the prefrontal cortex to the periaqueductal gray — that control the various forms of defensive behaviour and to detailed analysis of the monoamine systems that modulate this control. The resultant neurology is linked to the typology, symptoms, pre-disposing personality and therapy of anxiety and phobic disorders, and to the symptoms of amnesia.

Keywords: amnesia; amygdala; behavioural inhibition; conflict; hippocampus; neuropsychology; neuroticism; prefrontal cortex; theta rhythm

Book.  442 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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Table of Contents

Overview in The Neuropsychology of Anxiety

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Ethology and anxiety in The Neuropsychology of Anxiety

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The anxiolytic drugs in The Neuropsychology of Anxiety

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The neurology of anxiety in The Neuropsychology of Anxiety

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Hippocampal place fields in The Neuropsychology of Anxiety

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