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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: This book takes a multidisciplinary look at development psychobiology and updates the literature in this immense field.
Purpose: The editors aim to bring together information on theories and research regarding neural development that will apply to a large multidisciplinary research community.
Audience: The book will appeal to a wide range of scientists in the neurosciences, including cognitive neuroscientists, psychologists, developmental researchers, geneticists, and biologists. It assumes a moderately advanced level of biological and neuroscience knowledge; it is not intended for those new to the field. The editors and contributing authors provide a variety of knowledgeable perspectives.
Features: The initial chapters lay the groundwork for the rest of the book. While these are dense and make for slow reading, figures and tables gradually increase in number and quality. A nice summary table in the first chapter on neural development details various transcription factor genes and their CNS target. A second table nicely details the effects of chorion on behavioral variables. The figures become increasingly helpful and many are in high quality color. The discussion of phenotypic diversity in the face of a single genome is well handled. Later chapters begin to explore the development of individual brain systems in much more detail. The studies discussed range from animal to human and encompass various levels of analysis, such as single-cell recordings with high spatial localization and temporal distinction all the way to behavioral analysis of infants. Topics also are wide ranging from the most basic neuronal development to the highly complex cognitive functions of memory and adaptation. Each chapter begins with an abstract and is laid out in clear subsections with concluding paragraphs. The references are practically overflowing and generally current, and the index is highly detailed.
Assessment: This is a comprehensive and detailed look at developmental behavioral neuroscience from a variety of perspectives and research methodologies. It will be an exceedingly constructive companion for researchers and students alike.