Editorial Reviews  From Publishers Weekly Schwartz (A Return to
Innocence), a UCLA psychiatrist and expert on treating patients with
obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), teams up with Begley, a Wall Street
Journal science columnist, to explore the mind/brain dichotomy and to
discuss the science behind new treatments being developed for a host of
brain dysfunctions.    Building on the work presented in Schwartz's
first book, Brain Lock, the authors begin by demonstrating that OCD
patients are capable of rechanneling compulsive urges into more socially
acceptable activities and that, by doing so, they actually alter their
brains' neuronal circuitry.    By presenting a wide array of animal and
human experiments, Schwartz and Begley show that similar neuroplasticity
is possible in stroke victims, often leading to a return of function
previously thought impossible.    The medical results and treatments
they summarize are exciting and deserve widespread attention. In a
chapter entitled "Free Will and Free Won't," the authors turn to the
philosophical, examining the implications neuroplasticity might have on
the differences between mind and brain; they also discourse on the
existence of free will.    Unfortunately, their integration of quantum
mechanics and Buddhism into a search for a mechanism to explain the
patterns scientists have been discovering is too superficial to fully
engage readers. Nonetheless, a great deal in this book is sure to
motivate discussion and more research.
    From Booklist Schwartz's undergraduate major was philosophy, and that
interest as well as Buddhism has broadened his outlook and makes this
book potentially attractive to more readers than those habitually
interested in "brain science."   Psychiatrist Schwartz pioneered the use
of positron-emission tomography in studying obsessive-compulsive
disorder (OCD).    The behaviorists' therapeutic use of the often-harsh
exposure and prevention method with OCD struck Schwartz as brutal and
unproductive. Searching for a new approach, he gradually developed the
four-step method that he and science writer Begley thoroughly describe
here.    Employing the Buddhist idea of willful mindfulness, Schwartz
and his colleagues enjoyed considerable research and clinical success. A
long, informal collaboration with physicist Henry Stapp enabled Schwartz
to overcome the problem of free will and moral action, and one of his
major achievements was proving the neuroplasticity of the adult brain,
thanks to which the formation of new transmission routes coincides with
that of new neurons.    Schwartz and Begley bring to life the thinking
and work of many original investigators in a book that thoughtful
readers will enjoy.

--- In, "SteveW" <eugnostos2...@...> wrote:
> Since the topic of OCD came up, I thought that some people here might
be interested in Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz's book, The Mind and The Brain,
which discusses OCD and neuroplasticity from a Buddhist view-point. It
also details Dr. Schwartz's practical method for dealing with the
disorder. I highly recommend it.
> Yours, Steve Wenninger

Reply via email to