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From The CriticsReviewer: Ben Zion Roitberg, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is the second edition of a multiauthored review of the current state of research and knowledge about the chemical senses. The first edition was published in 1987.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a broad survey of the chemical senses, stressing an overview of the results and interpretation, rather than technical details. This is a wide field of study, and a review book is helpful. The editors' objectives are very well met.
Audience: This book is written for students and new investigators in the field of neurobiology of the chemical senses. However, neurologists and psychiatrists may find it an interesting read, since it is generally well written and not too technical. The editors and contributors are credible authorities in this field.
Features: The chemical senses are covered in a systematic and logical fashion, starting with basic chemoreception and generalized chemesthesis, progressing from microorganisms to more advanced systems. Then olfaction and gustation are reviewed. In each case the discussion progresses from the basic molecular mechanisms to neural integration. Comparisons between several model organisms — nematodes, fruit flies, and mice — are used to great effect to promote understanding of the development of the chemical sensory systems. The illustrations are appropriate and the compact format of the book makes it easy to read.
Assessment: This excellent book is an example of a well written text in neurobiology. Since the first edition in 1987, the progress in genetics and molecular biology has led to major advances in this field and a new edition is appropriate. This book is a worthy addition to any medical library.