Physiology of Behavior / Edition 11

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The most current, comprehensive, and teachable text for behavioral neuroscience

Thoughtfully organized, Physiology of Behavior provides a scholarly yet accessible portrait of the dynamic interaction between biology and behavior. Close collaboration between the author and a talented artist has resulted in beautiful, accurate, and pedagogically effective illustrations in every chapter.

No other author compares to Carlson when it comes to thoroughly updating research. This revision incorporates the latest discoveries in behavioral neuroscience, and includes over 400 new references. Integrated for the first time with MyPsychLab, featuring an interactive Virtual Brain, chapter study plans, flashcards, and other resources, Carlson's 11th edition offers students an immersive and engaging experience.

A better teaching and learning experience

This program will provide a better teaching and learning experience— for you and your students. Here’s how:

  • Personalize Learning - The new MyPsychLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals.
  • Improve Critical Thinking — Section Summaries with Thought Questions help students test their understanding of the materials.
  • Engage Students — A close collaboration between the author and a talented artist has resulted in beautiful, accurate, and pedagogically effective illustrations in every chapter.
  • Explore Research — In light of the rapidly evolving field of behavioral neuroscience, over 400 new references are included in this edition.
  • Support Instructors — With resources such as Instructor’s Manual, Test Bank, highly visual PowerPoint Slides, and for the first time ever, the new MyPsychLab with ClassPrep, instructors have everything they need to teach behavioral neuroscience. All of these materials are available to be packaged with the text upon request.

Note: MyPsychLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MyPsychLab, please visit or you can purchase a ValuePack of the text + MyPsychLab (at no additional cost). ValuePack ISBN-10: 0205889786 / ValuePack ISBN-13: 9780205889785.

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Editorial Reviews

New edition of a text in which Carlson (U. of Massachusetts) discusses the physiology of behavior and includes some of the advances made in research, i.e. targeted mutations against an enormous variety of genes, insertion of genes that put fluorescent dyes on protein products, single-photon scanning laser microscopy, and others. The 19 chapters cover introductory material; structure and functions of cells of the nervous system; structure of the nervous system; psychopharmacology; methods and strategies of research; vision; control of movement; sleep and biological rhythms; audition, and the body and chemical senses; reproductive and ingestive behavior, learning and memory, relational learning and amnesia, human communication, schizophrenia and the affective disorders; anxiety, autistic, and stress disorders; and drug abuse. Contains some color illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205239399
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/26/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 11
  • Pages: 768
  • Sales rank: 61,375
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

I pursued my undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois. I had planned to study nuclear physics, but when I discovered in an introductory psychology course that psychology was really a science, I decided that was what I wanted to do. Before changing my major, I talked with several professors and visited their laboratories, and when I saw what physiological psychologists do, I knew that I had found my niche. I stayed on at Illinois and received my Ph.D. Then, after a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa, I came to the University of Massachusetts, where I’ve been ever since.

When I arrived at UMass I established a laboratory where I investigated the role of the limbic system in species-typical and learned behaviors, continuing work I had done at the University of Illinois. I received several Biomedical Research Support Grants and a research grant from NICHD. As I became more involved in textbook writing, I began to focus my attention more and more on this activity and on my teaching.

I took the opportunity afforded by my first sabbatical leave to write the first edition of Physiology of Behavior. I very much enjoyed the experience, and this endeavor taught me much more about behavioral neuroscience. I was gratified with the positive response of my students and of the colleagues who adopted the book. The pleasure provided by this response and by the enjoyment of keeping up with the literature and writing about it has kept me going for 11 editions. (I have no plans to stop writing.)

I retired from UMass in the fall of 2004 but continue to keep up with developments in the field of behavioral neuroscience and revise my book. The Psychology Department has kindly let me keep an office at the university, which makes it easier for me to continue interacting with my former colleagues.

My interests outside of writing include spending time with our family, traveling, fly fishing, skiing, and flying our small airplane."

--Neil Carlson

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Table of Contents

In this Section:

1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Structure and Functions of Cells of the Nervous System

Chapter 3 Structure of the Nervous System

Chapter 4 Psychopharmacology

Chapter 5 Methods and Strategies of Research

Chapter 6 Vision

Chapter 7 Audition, the Body Senses, and the Chemical Sense

Chapter 8 Control of Movement

Chapter 9 Sleep and Biological Rhythms

Chapter 10 Reproductive Behavior

Chapter 11 Emotion

Chapter 12 Ingestive Behavior

Chapter 13 Learning and Memory

Chapter 14 Human Communication

Chapter 15 Neurological Disorders

Chapter 16 Schizophrenia and the Affective Disorders

Chapter 17 Anxiety Disorders, Autistic Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity

Disorder, and Stress Disorders

Chapter 18 Drug Abuse


Chapter 1 Introduction

Understanding Human Consciousness: A Physiological Approach

The Nature of Physiological Psychology

Natural Selection and Evolution

Ethical Issues In Research With Animals

Careers in Neuroscience

Strategies for Learning

Chapter 2 Structure and Functions of Cells of The Nervous System

Cells of the Nervous System

Communication within a Neuron

Communication between Neurons

Chapter 3 Structure of the Nervous System

Basic Features of the Nervous System

The Central Nervous System

The Peripheral Nervous System

Chapter 4 Psychopharmacology

Principles Of Psychopharmacology

Sites Of Drug Action

Neurotransmitters and Neuromodulators

Chapter 5 Methods and Strategies of Research

Experimental Ablation

Recording And Stimulating Neural Activity

Neurochemical Methods

Genetic Methods

Chapter 6 Vision

The Stimulus

Anatomy of the Visual System

Coding Of Visual Information in the Retina

Analysis of Visual Information: Role of The Striate Cortex

Analysis of Visual Information: Role of The Visual Association Cortex

Chapter 7 Audition, the Body Senses, and the Chemical Sense


Vestibular System




Chapter 8 Control of Movement


Reflexive Control of Movement

Control of Movement by the Brain

Chapter 9 Sleep and Biological Rhythms

A Physiological and Behavioral Description Of Sleep

Disorders of Sleep

Why Do We Sleep?

Physiological Mechanisms of Sleep And Waking

Biological Clocks

Chapter 10 Reproductive Behavior

Sexual Development

Hormonal Control of Sexual Behavior

Neural Control of Sexual Behavior

Parental Behavior

Chapter 11 Emotion

Emotions as Response Patterns

Communication of Emotions

Feelings of Emotions

Chapter 12 Ingestive Behavior

Physiological Regulatory Mechanisms


Eating: Some Facts about Metabolism

What Starts A Meal?

What Stops A Meal?

Brain Mechanisms


Anorexia Nervosa/Bulimia Nervosa

Chapter 13 Learning and Memory

The Nature of Learning

Synaptic Plasticity: Long-Term Potentiation and Long-Term Depression

Perceptual Learning

Classical Conditioning

Instrumental Conditioning

Relational Learning

Chapter 14 Human Communication

Speech Production and Comprehension: Brain Mechanisms

Disorders of Reading and Writing

Chapter 15 Neurological Disorders


Seizure Disorders

Cerebrovascular Accidents

Disorders of Development

Degenerative Disorders

Disorders Caused By Infectious Diseases

Chapter 16 Schizophrenia and the Affective Disorders


Major Affective Disorders

Chapter 17 Anxiety Disorders, Autistic Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Stress Disorders

Anxiety Disorders

Autistic Disorder

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Stress Disorders

Chapter 18 Drug Abuse

Common Features of Addiction

Commonly Abused Drugs

Heredity and Drug Abuse

Therapy for Drug Abuse

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