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From The CriticsReviewer: John K. Hubbard, PhD, PT (Texas A&M University Health Science Center)
Description: This is a greatly improved update of an all inclusive book designed for use in laboratory-based neuroanatomy courses. This edition expands upon and updates the content, and includes clinically relevant notes, sample USMLE Step 1-type questions with answers, and a methodological, step-by-step dissection guide.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide students of neuroanatomy with a single book that covers essential factual and clinical information as well as a guide for them through their laboratory experience. This is necessary in order to bridge the ever widening gap between teaching time allotment and laboratory time requirements, both of which are essential to the learning of human neuroanatomy. This book meets the objectives by providing the essentials of neuroanatomy, relevant clinical commentary, detailed laboratory dissection and learning instructions, and self assessment sections.
Audience: Medical, dental, and allied health students studying human neuroanatomy are the intended audience. Students with minimal prior knowledge of neuroanatomy and dissection skills will benefit. The dissection guide is also appropriate for students enrolled in courses that do not have an abundance of fresh wet brains by enabling student groups to see essential structures and pathways with a single wet brain specimen.
Features: The book covers the entire nervous system in a logical and systematic fashion. It begins with developmental embryology, then progresses through osteology, the meninges, and blood supply. The CNS is then explored from superficial to deep structures in an organized manner. Each region begins with text on normal anatomy accompanied by multiple photographic and/or stained images. The anatomy is followed by detailed laboratory experiences including step-by-step instructions when applicable. Clinically relevant material is then presented, highlighting common pathologic processes that involve the region under review. Each chapter ends with a self-review section using sample USMLE Step 1-type questions and an extensive reference and selected reading list. An excellent atlas at the end of the book includes brain sections with 62 well labeled images. The images are presented with orientation overlays and labels helping the student to orient the section to the morphology of the whole brain. The highlights of the book are the systematic organization, the detailed laboratory experiences, and the labeled brain sections. The only drawbacks are the photographs themselves. Although the specimens are excellent examples, the photographs are all black and white, with black labels and lines that become difficult to follow to their termination. In this age of high resolution color digital photography, I would have preferred to see nice color images with better contrast on the lines and labels.
Assessment: This is a nicely prepared book, with the exception of the photographic deficits. It offers essential neuroanatomy in a readable format. This edition is justified with the updates and inclusion of the self-study questions. The accompanying laboratory experiences make this an ideal text for a laboratory-based course in human neuroanatomy. I would recommend it to those looking to combine a typical neuroanatomy text with a laboratory dissection guide in a laboratory-based neuroanatomy course or module.