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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Cognitive neuroscience is a rapidly expanding field with an overwhelming amount of information. For students and others new to cognitive neuroscience, however, this is a complete introduction to the field.
Purpose: The main orientation of this book is to provide a broad overview of cognitive neuroscience for students.
Audience: The audience is quite clearly students in the neurosciences, psychology, and related fields. This could be used as an upper division undergraduate or graduate text. It assumes familiarity with anatomical, biological, and psychological concepts, but it guides readers through some basic concepts early on. The editors are well known in this field and have published other high quality books in the neurosciences.
Features: In the tradition of other neuroscience books published by these editors, this book is filled with information presented in a format that is very easy to digest. It is well organized and contains numerous graphs, figures, and illustrations, most of which are in full color. It uses a bold font to emphasize learning topics and color boxes highlight occasional side notes. These side notes are often very interesting in their own right and extremely helpful for understanding concepts presented in the regular text. These include case examples, research experiments, extraordinary stories, or quirky applications of the concepts that make them memorable. A huge range of information is presented, from the basics of the nervous system to major cognitive functions (memory, language, problem solving, etc.). At the end of it all, readers will find a detailed glossary and subject index. As if that wasn't enough, the book also comes with a companion web site and a free download of the Sylvius 4 software, which is an interactive atlas of human neuroanatomy.
Assessment: This is a spectacular book that no introductory cognitive neuroscience course should be without. Students will find the information enlightening, the research compelling, and the companion software and web site remarkable.