Brain Architecture: Understanding the Basic Plan / Edition 1

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Overview


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.
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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
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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.

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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
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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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2009

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