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From The CriticsReviewer: Emily A. Keshner, EdD, PT (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)
Description: This is the second edition of a neuroscience book directed toward rehabilitation professionals. Topics range from specific sensory and motor systems to higher cognitive functions, aging, and recovery of function.
Purpose: The stated purpose is to explore how the nervous system controls behavior, with the goal of bridging science and clinical practice. These are worthy objectives. I have had difficulty finding resources that apply scientific findings to intervention or decision making. Sadly, the objectives have not fully been met. Content is presented as functional anatomy, and clinical interpretation is sparse. Even sections on clinical correlation chiefly define clinical disorders rather than suggest clinical application of research findings.
Audience: This book is directed toward allied health professionals, but I believe the style is more appropriate for students. Most of the contributors are teachers, many have clinical affiliations, and they have managed to convey complex information in an accessible manner.
Features: A history of neuroscience and organizational principles for the nervous system are initially presented. The reader is exhorted to view each chapter in light of these principles, but there is no continuity. Although much of the content can be found in other texts, the strength of this book is the range of topics that should promote an approach to patients as complete individuals. Contents range from the most fundamental elements of the CNS (neurons and transmitters) to abstract cognitive functions (learning and memory), with the addition of recovery of function and aging. I find it surprising, though, that subject matter important to therapeutic goals like posture, locomotion, and motor learning, is ignored.
Assessment: This edition has additional detail, and is a good introduction to the field of neuroscience. However, the information is a general overview of neuroscience, not specifically applicable to rehabilitation. The lack of analyses or conclusions about relevance to treatment requires that individuals who are truly interested in bridging science and practice will need to look elsewhere.