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"...a comprehensive text defining the full scope of neuro- science...provides historical context and addresses the current state & progress of the subject...covers cognitive, molecular, cellular, developmenal, & behavioral aspects."
The name for the field of knowledge described in this book is neuroscience, the science of the nervous system. Studies of the nervous system were ongoing in the 19th century and before. Neuroanatomists studied the brain's shape, its cellular structure, and its wiring diagram; neurochemists studied the brain's chemical composition; neurophysiologists studied the brain's bioelectric properties; and psychologists and neuropsychologists investigated the organization and neural substrates of behavior and cognition. Then in the late 1960s the term neuroscience was coined, signaling the beginning of an era in which each of these disciplines would work synergistically, sharing a common language, common concepts, and a common goal—to understand the structure and function of the normal and abnormal brain. Neuroscience today stretches from the molecular biology of nerve cells to the biological basis of normal and disordered behavior and of cognition. Neuroscience is currently one of the most rapidly growing areas of science. Indeed, the brain is sometimes referred to as the last frontier of biology. In 1971, 1,100 scientists convened at the first Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. In 1997, 27,685 scientists participated at the Society's 27th Annual Meeting at which more than 14,000 research presentations were made.
WE HAVE ATTEMPTED TO PRESENT THE FULL SCOPE OF THE FIELD IN FUNDAMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE. This book lays out our current understanding in each of the important domains that together define the full scope of modern neuroscience. Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (Section II) concentrates on the structure and function of the neurons, glia, and synapses that are the building blocks of the nervous system. These chapters also highlight the remarkable techniques now being used to study the nervous system in cellular detail, including molecular biological techniques that are making it possible to study and manipulate genes.
Another major domain of our field is Developmental Neuroscience (Section III), the study of the processes by which the nervous system develops. How does a simple epithelium differentiate into specialized collections of cells and ultimately into distinct brain structures? How do neurons grow out processes that find appropriate targets some distance away? How does neuronal activity and experience shape activity? Sensory and Motor Neuroscience (Sections IV and V) concern themselves with how the nervous system receives information from the external world and how movements and actions are produced; for example, eye movements and limb movements. These questions range from the molecular level (how are odorants, photons, and sounds transduced into patterned neural activity?) to the systems and behavioral level (which brain structures control eye movements and what are the computations required by each structure.).
An evolutionarily old function of the nervous system is to regulate respiration, heart rate, sleep and waking cycles, food and water intake, and hormones. In this area of Regulatory Neuroscience (Section V), we explore how organisms remain in balance with their environment, ensuring that they obtain the energy resources needed to survive and reproduce. At the level of cells and molecules, the study of regulatory systems concerns the receptors and signaling pathways by which particular hormones or neurotransmitters prepare the organism to sleep, to cope with acute stress, or to seek food. At the level of brain systems, we ask such questions as what occurs in brain circuitry to produce thirst or to create a self-destructive problem like drug abuse?
In recent years, the disciplines of psychology and biology have increasingly found common ground, and this convergence of psychology and biology define the modern topics of Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience (Section VI). These topics concern the so-called higher mental functions: perception, attention, language, memory, thinking, and the ability to navigate in space. Work on these problems has traditionally drawn on the techniques of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, and behavioral analysis. More recently, behavioral and cognitive neuroscience has benefited from several new approaches: the use of computers to perform detailed formal analyses of how brain systems operate and how cognition is organized; noninvasive neuroimaging techniques, such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging, to obtain anatomically based pictures of the living human brain in action; and molecular biological methods, such as single-gene knockouts in mice, which can relate genes to brain systems and to behavior.
From Chapter 2: The Functional Architecture of Nervous Systems
Structure and function are two sides of the same coin, and it is important to understand the relationship between them if we are to fully appreciate the organization of the nervous system. An object's structure imposes physical constraints on its function. For example, a piano is a harp laid on its side and enclosed in a resonating wooden box (its structure) that can produce a wide variety of music (its function). Because of the limits of its structure, however, a piano cannot possibly be made to sound like a brass instrument—for example, a trumpet. In this chapter, we will address two questions that relate to the functional architecture of nervous systems: What are the major structural components of the central nervous system (CNS), and how are these components interconnected? Answers to these questions should ultimately help explain how the brain works at a systems level rather than at the cellular or molecular levels.
The fundamental cellular unit in the nervous system is the nerve cell, or neuron. The cellular basis of nervous system organization was not appreciated until near the end of the 19th century, as discussed in Box 2.1. We will consider neurons in greater detail in Chapter 3, but a basic understanding of neuronal morphology is essential at this point. The nucleus of a neuron is located in a region called the cell body, or soma (Fig. 2.2). Most of the inputs a neuron receives are delivered to numerous thin extensions of the cell known as dendrites. In vertebrate neurons, the dendrites usually arise from the soma. Because they branch extensively, dendrites greatly increase the plasma membrane surface area available for receiving and integration inputs. At the ''output'' end of a neuron is the axon, a single thin extension that can course uninterrupted for a meter or more and typically divides into a number of collateral branches. A portion of the output of thou sands of neurons can converge onto the dendrites of a single neuron. Conversely, the output of each neuron can diverge to reach hundreds or thousands of other neurons. The principles of convergence and divergence are major themes in the organization of nervous systems.
There are roughly 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion interneuronal connections in the human brain. Faced with the task of analyzing systems as complex as this, biologists have traditionally tried to simplify matters by focusing on less complex organisms or animals at earlier developmental stages. Therefore, we will begin by examining current ideas about the evolution of nervous systems to illustrate fundamental principles of nervous system organization. Then we will discuss the embryogenesis of the vertebrate CNS, because it reveals a common structural plan in this most complex animal subphylum, which includes our own species among the mammals. Next, we will consider a simple model of how the nervous system's basic functional systems may be organized structurally. Finally, we will explore the major structural features of the vertebrate nervous system.
|1||Fundamentals of Neuroscience||3|
|2||Organization of Nervous Systems||9|
|II||Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience|
|3||The Cellular Components of Nervous Tissue||41|
|4||Subcellular Organization of the Nervous System||71|
|5||Electrotonic Properties of Axons and Dendrites||107|
|6||Membrane Potential and Action Potential||129|
|7||Release of Neurotransmitters||155|
|11||Cell-Cell Communication via Gap Junctions||317|
|12||Postsynaptic Potentials and Synaptic Integration||345|
|13||Information Processing in Dendrites||363|
|14||Brain Energy Metabolism||389|
|III||Nervous System Development|
|15||Neural Induction and Pattern Formation||417|
|16||Neurogenesis and Migration||451|
|18||Growth Cones and Axon Pathfinding||519|
|19||Synapse Formation and Elimination||547|
|20||Programmed Cell Death||581|
|22||Early Experience and Critical Periods||637|
|23||Fundamentals of Sensory Systems||657|
|25||Chemical Senses: Taste and Olfaction||719|
|29||Fundamentals of Motor Systems||855|
|30||Muscle, Motor Neurons, and Motor Neuron Pools||863|
|31||Spinal Motor Control, Reflexes, and Locomotion||889|
|32||Supraspinal Descending Control: The Medial "Postural" System||913|
|33||Voluntary Descending Control||931|
|37||The Hypothalamus: An Overview of Regulatory Systems||1013|
|38||Central Control of Autonomic Functions: The Organization of the Autonomic Nervous System||1027|
|40||Neural Control of Breathing||1063|
|41||Food Intake and Metabolism||1091|
|42||Water Intake and Body Fluids||1111|
|43||Neuroendocrine Systems I: Overview - Thyroid and Adrenal Axes||1127|
|44||Neuroendocrine Systems II: Growth, Reproduction, and Lactation||1151|
|46||Sleep and Dreaming||1207|
|48||Motivation and Reward||1245|
|49||Drug Reward and Addiction||1261|
|VII||Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience|
|50||Human Brain Evolution||1283|
|52||Object and Face Recognition||1339|
|55||Learning and Memory: Basic Mechanisms||1411|
|56||Learning and Memory: Systems Analysis||1455|
|57||Language and Communication||1487|
|59||Thinking and Problem Solving||1543|