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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Rita K. Getz, PhD (Midwestern University)
Description: This book is a compilation of drawings, photos, and cross-sections of the central nervous system. The author uses a variety of images to illustrate each level of the neuraxis, which results in a comprehensive collection of central nervous system morphology. This edition replaces the fourth edition, published in 1995. Many changes, such as updated terminology, color-coded tracts, revised clinical correlations, along with the addition of more magnetic resonance images, are improvements to an already excellent atlas.
Purpose: Neuroscience is a highly visual discipline, and the figures in this book help the student study this topic.
Audience: Logically, this book is useful to medical, dental, and graduate students in a human neuroscience course, and in the author's opinion, the book is written for any student interested in the topic.
Features: External and internal morphology, functional pathways, tracts, and systems, as well as clinical applications are presented. Throughout the book, it is apparent that the author has incorporated suggestions from students and colleagues in order to make this as reader-friendly as possible. For example, line drawings are labeled to match the corresponding cross-section photo, and blood supply to an area is reinforced at each level of the neuraxis. It should be noted that the cross-sections used in this atlas contain pathology, and the resultant lack of symmetry in the cross-sections may cause confusion to the student.
Assessment: Although it is the author's choice to exhaustively label nearly all structures in a figure, this detracts from the readability of the atlas. But, even more distracting than the over-labeled diagrams is the use of abbreviations. Many of the abbreviations are unique to this atlas, and are inconsistently applied throughout the atlas. For example, "Cor" indicates "cortico-" on some pages, while "C" indicates "cortico-" on other pages, and while convention uses "n or nn" to indicate nerve or nerves, this atlas uses "Nr." Another concern is the addition of color-coded tracts and pathways. Although most students will appreciate the color-coding, those with any visual color deficits may have difficulty distinguishing what can only be seen as shades of gray. Aside from these last few concerns, this atlas is an invaluable tool for the neuroscience student, and is useful for lab as well as lecture portions of a neuroscience course.