Brain Architecture: Understanding the Basic Plan / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $5.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 83%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $5.99   
  • New (6) from $23.29   
  • Used (7) from $5.99   


Depending on your point of view the brain is an organ, a machine, a biological computer, or simply the most important component of the nervous system. How does it work as a whole? What are its major parts and how are they interconnected to generate thinking, feelings, and behavior? This book surveys 2,500 years of scientific thinking about these profoundly important questions from the perspective of fundamental architectural principles, and then proposes a new model for the basic plan of neural systems organization based on an explosion of structural data emerging from the neuroanatomy revolution of the 1970's
The importance of a balance between theoretical and experimental morphology is stressed throughout the book. Great advances in understanding the brain's basic plan brain have come especially from two traditional lines of biological thought- evolution and embryology, because each begins with the simple and progresses to the more complex. Understanding the organization of brain circuits, which contain thousands of links or pathways, is much more difficult. It is argued here that a four-system network model can explain the structure-function organization of the brain. Possible relationships between neural networks and gene networks revealed by the human genome project are explored in the final chapter.
The book is written in clear and sparkling prose, and it is profusely illustrated. It is designed to be read by anyone with an interest in the basic organization of the brain, from neuroscience to philosophy to computer science to molecular biology. It is suitable for use in neuroscience core courses because it presents basic principles of the structure of the nervous system in a systematic way.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Celso Agner, MD, MS, MSc (Michigan Neurology Partners)
Description: The scholarly study of anatomy can vary from a monotonous memorization of names and structures, to an artistic representation of the body in da Vinci's style, or to an innovative approach integrating structure, function, and good techniques of memorization. This book stylistically approaches neuroanatomy in an easy to understand manner.
Purpose: The purpose is to address neuroanatomy, evolution, and embryology of the nervous system in a practical, concise, and comprehensive manner. Those objectives are clearly met by all authors.
Audience: The audience is mostly composed of neuroanatomists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons who want to review major topics of already learnt topics in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. All objectives were met. The author is an authority in the subject.
Features: Through history and facts, the authors concentrate on major aspects of behavior and attempts to correlate them with structural concepts in neuroanatomy. The topic is, however, repetitive and, possibly, not necessary, even if the approach to it is different. In my view, it is a replication of other readily available sources of information and probably other sources would be useful in the same fashion. It may be a worthy book, however, for specific populations of neuroscientists and students who would adapt to a more eclectic way of studying. The references are up-to-date.
Assessment: I think this would be an important component of any neuroscience library, as different study modalities may prevail and some students may particularly benefit from this book's style.

3 Stars from Doody
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195105056
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry W. Swanson, PhD, is Milo Don and Lucille Appleman Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Swanson has published over 250 research articles and numerous books on brain organization, and is a member of National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Grolier Club.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 How the Brain Works: Structure and Function 1
2 The Simplest Nervous Systems: Neurons, Nerve Nets, and Behavior 9
3 Centralization and Symmetry: Ganglia and Nerves 29
4 The Basic Vertebrate Plan: Nervous System Topology 40
5 Brain and Behavior: A Four Systems Networks Model 80
6 The Motor System: Coordinating External and Internal Behaviors 97
7 The Behavioral State System: Intrinsic Control of Sleep and Wakefulness 139
8 The Cognitive System: Thinking and Voluntary Control of Behavior 156
9 The Sensory System: Inputs from the Environment and the Body 182
10 Modifiability: Learning, Stress, Cycles, and Damage Repair 206
11 Gene Network: Relationship to Neural Networks 219
Appendices 223
Glossary 243
Index 247
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2004

    a brilliant survey of brain organisation

    This is an ambitious and unusual book which succeeds in engaging and informing. It takes the reader from basic principles of organisation of the nervous system to an understanding of the major systems of the brain. It is not a reference book full of journal citations; it is a distillation of the extraordinary breadth of knowledge that Swanson has built up in his outstanding career. The book is meant to be read rather than dissected and any graduate student will appreciate this tour of the brain by an expert guide. I enjoyed every part of the book. I think it makes a major contribution to the world of neuroscience.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)