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From The CriticsReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: "This book provides an introduction to behavioral endocrinology from many points of view, including genetic, molecular, and cellular. Areas covered in this book range from the endocrine system itself to the effects of hormones on development and behavior to endocrine relationships with learning and memory. This edition represents an updated and expanded version of the second edition published in 2000. "
Purpose: In this book, the author endeavors to present information regarding the interaction of hormones and behavior from diverse perspectives. The author succeeds in providing a proficient overview of basic endocrinology, but also includes an abundance of information on the behavioral correlates of endocrine function through both human and animal models. This is one of only two readily available books dedicated to behavioral endocrinology and fills a niche in the endocrinology realm.
Audience: According to the authors, this book is intended for upper-level undergraduate and graduate level students in biology, psychology, or zoology. It is written with the expectation that students have some background knowledge in biopsychology or neuroscience. It is certainly suitable for students and is presented in a manner that cannot be mistaken for anything but a classic textbook for use in the classroom setting.
Features: The most striking feature of this book is its ability to cover a broad range of topics, and yet do so without glossing over important topics. The author also provides information in a multicultural context, citing relevant practices from other cultures to highlight principles in behavioral endocrinology. In addition, information is provided about sex differences from a relatively unbiased scientific perspective, and seems to avoid most of the cultural, political, and religious biases that are often inherent in discussions of gender and sex differences. The inclusion of chapter summaries and discussion questions are particularly helpful and may incite intellectual exchanges in the classroom regarding somewhat provocative topics. Finally, the CD-ROM that comes with the book is excellent and includes basic information relevant to each chapter; video, audio, and animated examples to illustrate key points; and external links to additional information that students may find of interest. While the numerous illustrations and photographs are appreciated, it is somewhat disappointing in a textbook of this caliber and price to find only black-and-white prints. This should not, however, dissuade students or instructors from buying this otherwise useful book.
Assessment: This third edition provides updated references and general coverage, but there is little that is conspicuously new. Readers who have the second edition will not likely miss anything critical. For those new to the book, it would be folly to own anything but the third edition, if not for anything but the CD-ROM that is only included with the current edition. Although this book's coverage of the technical/medical aspects of the endocrine system cannot compare with Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, Larsen et al. (Elsevier, 2003), readers will be hard pressed to find a more extensive presentation of behavioral endocrinology in one place.