The use of visual art is relatively common in scientific literature, and academic publications sometimes reproduce famous paintings to attract potential readers. When used in this manner, artwork is just a marginal adornment. In The Painted Mind, however, each chapter is inspired by an artistic masterpiece. Throughout the book, Dr. Troisi highlights the artistic significance of each painting and introduces the reader to their creators' biographical stories. The Painted Mind has a scientific focus on the evolutionary analysis of human mind and behavior. Its discussion of emotions and behaviors integrates a variety of perspectives that can ultimately be reduced to the evolutionary distinction between proximate mechanisms and adaptive functions. Although Dr. Troisi is primarily a clinical psychiatrist, his eclectic scientific background-ranging from primate ethology to neuroscience, from behavioral biology to molecular genetics, and from Darwinian psychiatry to evolutionary psychology-gives his writing a unique perspective. In addition to integrating data and findings from each of these disciplines, the book's presentation of evolutionary theories of the human mind is also intermixed with lively discussion of individual cases. Some are clinical cases from Dr. Troisi's own psychiatric practice; others reference the psychological profiles of historical figures and fictional characters.
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