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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: Neuroscience is a rapidly evolving field and this book is an excellent introduction to this exciting discipline for students in multiple fields. Written and edited by a group of internationally recognized neuroscientists, the third edition remains a superb and comprehensive reference and textbook, just as the previous two editions were.
Purpose: The purpose, according to the editors, is "to capture the promise and excitement of this fast moving field." They note that due to advances in such fields as genetics and neuroimaging, the chapters required revision from the previous edition to "effectively introduce(s) students to the full range of contemporary neuroscience."
Audience: The intended audience includes students, clinicians, and neuroscientists.
Features: Part I focuses on the basics/fundamentals of neuroscience with chapters on such topics as cellular organization, history of the field, and responsible research conduct. In part II, cellular and molecular mechanisms are reviewed from the subcellular level up to complex information processing. Nervous system development is reviewed in part III with chapters on cellular determinism, neurogenesis and migration, programmed cell death, synaptic elimination, and early experience driven neuroplasticity and sensitive periods. Parts IV and V cover the sensory and motor systems respectfully. Part VI focuses on the regulatory systems with chapters on the hypothalamus, organization of the autonomic nervous system, respiratory and cardiovascular systems, homeostasis, neuroendocrine control, circadian timekeeping, sleep, and reward systems. Part VII covers the behavioral and cognitive neurosciences with outstanding chapters on evolution, aging, visual object perception, spatial cognition, attention, learning and memory, language, executive functions, and consciousness. Each chapter concludes with relevant citations of the scientific literature and the index was useful.
Assessment: This is essential reading for any student of neuroscience. Every issue pertinent to the study of the brain and behavior is covered in this excellent book.