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Edited by Alan D Baddeley, Michael D Kopelman, and Barbara A Wilson. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2002, pp 865, £90.00. ISBN 0-471-49819
This is an altogether excellent textbook that covers the complete range of topics related to human memory disorders. The first edition was published in 1995 and was very good, although it concentrated particularly on the clinical manifestations of memory disorders and their management. The second issue is much more broad ranging and comprehensive. The first section covers theoretical topics related to memory. Notable additions have been thorough reviews of functional imaging of memory, connectionist models, and psychopharmacological aspects of memory.
The second section deals with varieties of memory disorders. There have been a number of changes of contributors, which is always healthy, and some new additions. As well as the classic syndromes of acute and permanent amnesia, there are now sections on neuropsychological impairments of both verbal and visual short term memory. There are excellent reviews of the cognitive neuroscience of confabulation and of false memories. There is also a new section on the frontal lobes and memory, as well as a contribution on recovery of memory function in neurological diseases.
The third section of the book is entirely new and concerns development and memory, including normal memory development in the childhood years, memory in the context of intellectual disabilities, and developmental amnesias. Rather strangely, memory in the elderly and in the context of dementing disorders is also included in this section.
The final section amalgamates chapters on assessment and management of memory disorders. As would be expected given the background of the editors, this section is readable, informative, comprehensive, and up to date.
The book is attractively produced with a sufficient number of figures. It remains firmly bedded in clinical practice. This book should undoubtedly be owned by anyone with an interest in clinical aspects of memory, particularly those involved with assessment and management. I only hope the next edition of the book is as good.