A Historical Introduction
418 pp., 6 x 9 in, 52 color illus., 119 b&w illus.
- Published: January 17, 2014
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Published: September 1, 2017
- Publisher: The MIT Press
An introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system that emphasizes the history of experiments and observations that led to modern neuroscientific knowledge.
This introduction to neuroscience is unique in its emphasis on how we know what we know about the structure and function of the nervous system. What are the observations and experiments that have taught us about the brain and spinal cord? The book traces our current neuroscientific knowledge to many and varied sources, including ancient observations on the role of the spinal cord in posture and movement, nineteenth-century neuroanatomists' descriptions of the nature of nerve cells, physicians' attempts throughout history to correlate the site of a brain injury with its symptoms, and experiments on the brains of invertebrates.
After an overview of the brain and its connections to the sensory and motor systems, Neuroscience discusses, among other topics, the structure of nerve cells; electrical transmission in the nervous system; chemical transmission and the mechanism of drug action; sensation; vision; hearing; movement; learning and memory; language and the brain; neurological disease; personality and emotion; the treatment of mental illness; and consciousness. It explains the sometimes baffling Latin names for brain subdivisions; discusses the role of technology in the field, from microscopes to EEGs; and describes the many varieties of scientific discovery. The book's novel perspective offers a particularly effective way for students to learn about neuroscience. It also makes it clear that past contributions offer a valuable guide for thinking about the puzzles that remain.
Authoritative, highly readable, wonderfully illustrated, and just plain interesting. Students of neuroscience will finally learn where all those ideas and terms came from that we now use with regularity. Only Glickstein could have achieved all of this.
This book is a must for anyone interested in the historical antecedents of the concepts and ideas that preoccupy today's neuroscientists.
Leo M. Chalupa, The George Washington University
Mitch Glickstein weaves the history of neuroscience into the presentation of the basic concepts of neuroscience. Both the salient scientists and their experiments are recounted with a wry sense of humor. If you want to read or teach neuroscience in the context of its historical development, this is your book.
Robert H. Wurtz, National Institutes of Health
Neuroscience by Mitchell Glickstein is a delightful mixture of the factual and historical underpinnings of neurology and neuroscience from one of the field's greatest scholars.
Michael N. Shadlen, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Professor of Neuroscience, Columbia University
This is indeed an excellent introduction to neuroscience.
Generalists, and even specialists, looking for a good overview of neuroscience will find that Glickstein's contribution is solid.