The Brain Explained / Edition 1

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A fascinating read for non-medical layman and allied health field professionals, this unique book on neuroscience goes beyond discussions on the morphology and physiology of the brain by presenting the central nervous system as what it is: not only a group of neurons and lobes, but an extremely complex, integrated system responsible for an extraordinarily wide scope of functions. "Holistic" in approach, it integrates data from the realms of basic sciences, psychology, psychiatry, and neurology - covering a significant amount of updated subject matter plus material rarely found in standard neuroanatomy and neurophysiology texts - such as drug abuse, nutrition, brain plasticity, dreaming, consciousness, and aggression. Presents a witty, conversational and captivating narrative, interjecting discussions of complex concepts with humor, anecdotes, philosophical discussions and clinical case studies. For professionals in such allied health fields as nursing, social work, psychology, and the rehabilitation disciplines, including physical, occupational, recreational and speech and language therapies.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

Geared toward the non-medical reader, this fascinating, informative and witty book on neuroscience gives students the "big picture" behind the functions of the brain. The text integrates data from the realms of basic sciences, psychology, psychiatry, and neurology. Captivating in its presentation, the book interjects discussions of complex concepts with humor, anecdotes, philosophical discussions and clinical case studies It covers a significant amount of updated subject matter, plus material rarely found in standard neuroanatomy and neurophysiology texts:such as brain plasticity, dreaming, consciousness, and aggression.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Laurie Lundy-Ekman, PhD, PT (Pacific University)
Description: This informal, humorous survey of brain function incorporates psychology and neurology information.
Purpose: The purpose is to supplement neuroscience texts with information about topics that the author believes are rarely covered in standard textbooks directed toward allied health students. However, most of the topics the author cites as being rarely found in standard texts, such as brain plasticity and consciousness, are covered in standard texts and other topics, such as dreaming, are not of clinical interest.
Audience: The author states that the intended audience is allied health students and lay readers. Given that most of this book is redundant with those used in these disciplines, it may be better suited to assistants in the allied health professions and/or to lay readers.
Features: Most of the topics — cellular function, organization of the brain, plasticity, language, neuroendocrinology, and perception — are covered in contemporary neuroscience texts. Two topics, drug abuse and aggression, are likely to be covered in psychology texts used in professional courses. The unique topics include dreaming and the effects of nutrition on the brain. A nice feature of the book is cartoon illustrations that are memorable, clever, and creative. The neurotransmitter cartoons are particularly well done. A significant liability is the lack of references. I would have liked to follow up on several of the studies mentioned in the text, but there is no way to identify the literature.
Assessment: As a review of topics covered in most neuroscience texts, the book might be a useful adjunct for some students who struggle with the complexity of those topics. A superior supplementary text covering many of the same topics is Matthews' Introduction to Neuroscience (Blackwell Science, 2000), which has concept maps, review questions and answers, and clinical correlations that are more likely to be useful to students in professional programs.

2 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780137961948
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 9/10/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 1,242,987
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents


1. Overview of Functions of Your Product.

Receive Information. Act on the External Universe. Utilize Language. Possess Emotions. Cognition. Control the Body's Endocrine System. Control of Autonomic Functions. Control of Immunity. Do All of the Above Simultaneously.

2. Structure of the Brain.

The Little Picture; Brain Cells. Neurons. Glial Cells of the Brain. The Big Picture: Structure of the Brain. Brain Connectivity. The Brain as a Metaphysical Transducer.

3. Functional Organization of the Brain.

Input to the Brain. The Final Cortical Representation. Output of the Brain: Human Movement.

4. Brain Plasticity, Intelligence, and Learning.

Brain Plasticity. Intelligence. Learning and Memory.

5. Language.

Anatomy of Words. Words and Meaning. Communication Tools. The Purpose of Language. Language Development. The Window for Acquisition of Language. Word Storage in the Brain. Localization of Language in the Brain. Signs of Malfunction: Aphasia Syndromes.

6. Perception, Attention, Imagination, and Consciousness.

Perception. Brain Mechanisms for Perception. The Individuality of Perception. Imagination. The Frontal Lobe and Active Awareness. Brain Mechanisms Responsible for Consciousness. Signs of Malfunction: Disorders of Attention and Consciousness.

7. Sleep and Dreaming.

What Is Sleep. Stages of Sleep. Dreaming.

8. Nutrition and the Brain.

The Blood/Brain Barrier. Nutrients Needed by the Brain. Neurotransmitters.

9. Drug Abuse and the Brain.

Drugs and Neurons. Tolerance. Withdrawal. Long Term Effects of Drugs on Neurons.

10. Aggression and the Brain.

Definition of Aggression. Classification of Aggression. The Brain and Aggression. Abnormal Aggression. Why are Some Individuals more Aggressive than Others?

11. Interaction Between Body and Brain.

The Autonomic Nervous System. The Neuroendocrinologic System. Brain Control. The Brain and Immunity.

12. Disorders That Can Affect Your Brain.

Vascular Lesions. Infectious Disorders. Autoimmune Disorders. Demyelinating Disorders. Neoplasms. Degenerative Disorders. Toxins. Trauma. Nutritional Disorders.

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