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Thirst is a subjective sensation, triggered by a lack of water and accompanied by the desire to drink. As a powerful and compelling sensation, it is perhaps only exceeded by the hunger for air and by pain, and is central to any concern with the overall mechanisms of homeostasis. Drinking is essential to the survival of most terrestrial vertebrates, and provides a useful model system with which to analyse the control of a complex type of behaviour. Furthermore, drinking requires integrated behavioural responses to physiological stimuli and environmental demands, and therefore offers a good example for the analysis of the biological mechanisms underlying behaviour. First published in 1982, this book describes the control of thirst and water intake, and the physiology and psychology of drinking. Although this book is intended primarily for students of psychology, physiology and medicine, it should be of interest to all those concerned with the scientific study of thirst and with the physiological and neural bases of behaviour.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Jeffrey Gray; Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Fundamentals of fluid intake and output; 3. The origins of thirst; 4. The initiation of drinking; 5. The maintenance of drinking; 6. The termination of drinking; 7. The neural control of drinking; 8. Pharmacology of drinking; 9. Problems of thirst and fluid balance; 10. The control of normal drinking; 11. Future directions; References; Index.

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