The Neuron: Cell and Molecular Biology / Edition 3

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The third edition of The Neuron provides a comprehensive first course in the cell and molecular biology of nerve cells. The first part of the book covers the properties of the many ion channels that shape the way a single neuron generates varied patterns of electrical activity, as well as the molecular mechanisms that convert electrical activity into the secretion of neurotransmitter hormones at synaptic junctions between neurons. The second part covers the biochemical pathways that are linked to the action of neurotransmitters and can alter the cellular properties of neurons or sensory cells that transduce information from the outside world into the electrical code used by neurons. The final section reviews our rapidly expanding knowledge of the molecular factors that induce an undifferentiated cell to become a neuron, and then guide it to form appropriate synaptic connections with its partners. This section also focuses on the role of ongoing experience and activity in shaping these connections, and finishes with an account of mechanisms thought to underlie the phenomena of learning and memory.

The book contains both black-and-white and two-color illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The text is impressively modern, with up-to date information on the trendiest areas of neurobiology . . . .the book is highly visual, with figures on virtually every page. The figures deserve special comment because they are a teacher's dream: simple and uncluttered, but conceptually powerful. Frankly, although the recommendation is often absurd, The Neuron is one of those books that really does belong on every shelf. "—Nature

"The format of each chapter is ideally suited for easy, enjoyable, and almost effortless learning . . . This is a superbly written and well-illustrated text covering all of the major aspects of neuroscientific knowledge . . . every neuroscientist should keep a copy handy."—Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience

"This is a first-rate textbook for a course in cellular neurobiology for upper-level university students. My colleagues and I took it out on a shakedown cruise with a class of 250 undergraduates. The wind really caught their sails, and we sped quickly through it in the ten weeks of the academic quarter. The students appreciated the consistent clarity and the uniformity of style. The illustrations are highly conceptual and were easily understood . . . The up-to-date presentation of many exciting recent findings is a great strength. General principles are illustrated with a useful blend of data from vertebrate and invertebrate systems."—William S Messer, Jr., in The Quarterly Review of Biology

"An outstanding, easily readable, and quite up-to-date overview of fundamental neurobiology."—Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences

"The authors have produced an extremely well-integrated, highly readable, soft-cover volume which can introduce students of neuroscience into the field, and graduates into a refresher and review on recent developments in a most readable and logical progression, beginning with the cell, both neuron and glia, and progressing through the complexities of neuronal networks."—Journal of the Neurological Sciences

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Celso Agner, MD, MS, MSc (Michigan Neurology Partners)
Description: The development of current molecular biology and immunocytochemistry triggered the evolution of neurology and neurosurgery, as novel forms of therapy could be adapted based on the experimental findings. This book is a necessary and required update on the topic.
Purpose: The main purpose of this book is to address the developments in the study of molecular biology of cells and how extrinsic influences help in organizing activities in the central nervous system. These are worthy and important objectives in today's clinical practice and the authors fully meet their objectives.
Audience: The audience is primarily neuroscientists and neurologists who are interested in the applied physiology of the nervous system and are able to incorporate the information discussed in this book into the understanding of ailments of the nervous system. These readers will find this a useful reference. The authors are credible authorities in the field.
Features: Throughout its pages, this book approaches neuroscience in a practical fashion, i.e., how can the modern understanding of neurophysiology, anatomy, and immunochemistry help in figuring out the etiology of diseases of the nervous system. Among the best aspects of the book is the constant interaction and reference to current issues in neurology. The pictures are well done and self explanatory. The references are up-to-date and provide a full view of the topics by experts in the field.
Assessment: This is a necessary component of any neuroscience library. Both the text and the graphics provide enjoyable, informative, and up-to-date reading for neurologists and neuroscientists alike..
Alexander Kolchinsky
This is the second edition of a textbook of neurobiology. It consists of 18 chapters divided into an introduction and three parts: electrical properties of neurons; intercellular communications between neurons; and higher level functions of neurons, plasticity, and behavior. It presents general concepts and describes crucial experiments and general experimental approaches. The book provides the background of neuroscience at the level of molecular and physiological properties of individual neurons. Admitting that this approach to neuroscience is close to reductionism, the authors justly state that this is the best route to understanding the more complicated issues. The textbook will be used by undergraduate and early graduate students beginning to take courses in neuroscience. It may also be used by physicians and even mature researchers as an introductory course and reference book. The book has attractive black and red layout, structured table of contents, and index. It is richly illustrated by schemes, graphs, and occasional electron micrographs. Many of these have exceptional educational value as visual support to any relevant teaching. All references to individual chapters are provided at the end of the book and are divided into recommended reading and references. The reason for this division is not clear, because both categories include a peculiar mix of recent reviews, various textbooks, and original papers sometimes going back to the 19th century and published in foreign languages. This is a remarkable textbook, a source of choice for teachers and students at the undergraduate and early graduate level. It presents the complicated field with such clarity that it is as muchfun to read as it was to write, according to the authors' preface.

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195145236
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/18/2001
  • Edition description: 3RD
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 632
  • Sales rank: 837,529
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Irwin B. Levitan, Ph.D., is the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Neuroscience at Brandeis University. Leonard K. Kaczmarek, Ph.D., is Professor of Pharmacology and Cellular and Molecular Physiology, and Chairman of the Pharmacology Department at Yale University School of Medicine.

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction
1. Signaling in the Brain
2. Form and Function in Cells of the Brain
II. Electrical Properties of Neurons
3. Electrical Signaling in Neurons
4. Membrane Ion Channels and Ion Currents
5. Ion Channels are Membrane Proteins
6. Ion Channels, Membrane Ion Currents, and the Action Potential
7. Diversity in the Structure and Function of Ion Channels
III. Intercellular Communication
8. How Neurons Communicate: Gap Junctions and Neurosecretion
9. Synaptic Release of Neurotransmitters
10. Neurotransmitters and Neurohormones
11. Receptors and Transduction Mechanisms I: Receptors Coupled Directly to Ion Channels
12. Receptors and Transduction Mechanisms II: Indirectly Coupled Receptor/Ion Channel Systems
13. Neuromodulation: Mechanisms of Induced Changes in the Electrical Behavior of Nerve Cells
14. Sensory Receptors
IV. Behavior and Plasticity
15. The Birth and Death of a Neuron
16. Neuronal Growth and Trophic Factors
17. Adhesion Molecules and Axon Pathfinding
18. Formation, Maintenance, and Plasticity
19. Neural Networks and Behavior
20. Learning and Memory

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