F. Andermann following an international meeting held in Venice from October 2-4, 1997 within the framework of the Mariani Foundation Colloquia in Childhood Epilepsy. Chapters are divided into five main topics : i) mechanisms of cortical development, ii) animal models of cortical dysgeneses, iii) electroclinical, imaging and neuropathological studies of cortical malformations; iv) genetics of neuronal migration disorders; v) neurosurgery of cortical malformations. The book is generally well organised with well balanced chapters contributed by experts (mostly Italian, American and Canadian) in the field. Discussions are well presented overall, easily accessible to the non-specialist and include up-to-date literature (many papers quoted are from 1998). The different chapters are abundantly illustrated. However, the book clearly suffers from a rather poor quality of figure reproduction.The first group of chapters dealing with corticogenesis provides the necessary background for the understanding of the remaining sections of the book. However, one could regret that the role of glutamate and GABA, two critical neurotransmitters in epilepsy, in the control of neuronal migration and its disturbances, has not been specifically addressed in this book. Three exciting animal models of cortical dysgenesis (methylazoxymethanol injection, cortical freezing and spontaneous tish mutant rat) are nicely described in the following section. It is worth noting that this necessary selection of animal models left out several other interesting paradigms including gene knock-out models which not only permit the study of electrophysiological consequences of cortical dysgenesis but also allow hypotheses to be made on the molecular mechanisms leading to abnormal cortical development. The section devoted to human cortical dysgeneses is excellent, comprehensively covering clinical, radiological, electrophysiological and neuropathological aspects in relation to epilepsy. This section is the largest one and is the backbone of the book. Two chapters deal with the genetics of cortical development and neuronal migration disorders. Although the task is huge, these chapters provide an up-to-date overview of the available data and some promising new avenues for basic and clinical research. The last part of the book is dedicated to the surgical approaches. Two major chapters present the wide experience of two leading teams involved with surgery of epilepsy and cortical malformations. The present book is clearly an excellent effort to bring together investigators coming from different backgrounds and who are studying cortical dysgeneses and epilepsy. Although not exhaustive, this book is clearly a very appropriate, specialized tool for colleagues either new to this complex and intricate field or working on one particular aspect of this complex, multidisciplinary field. This book would be of great interest to neurobiology laboratories focused on mechanisms of cortical development and to clinical services taking care of patients with epilepsy.