The rat is the most broadly used species in neuroscience research. The Cerebral Cortex of the Rat provides an easily accessible, single source of information on the rat cortex. It outlines what is known about the anatomical, neurochemical, physiological, and behavioral organization of the cerebral cortex of the rat and relates this to work done on other mammals, especially primates (including humans). The material is timely because of the increasing pressures to find alternatives to using primates for the study of brain and behavior.
The book's twenty five chapters are organized in sections that focus on variables that influence the structural, physiological, neurochemical, and behavioral properties of different cortical areas. The first section introduces the laboratory rat as a species and provides an overview of its usefulness for research on particular questions related to cortical functioning in mammals. In the second section, what is known about the organization of the rat's cortex, its development, anatomy, and electrical activity is detailed and an overview provided Motor functions are addressed in the third section, which offers a complete analysis of the behavior of the decorticated rat. The fourth section deals with topics related to sensory (visual, somatosensory auditory, and gustatorial) cortex. The association cortex is the subject of section five, and plasticity of the neocortex is discussed in the final section which takes up issues related to the effect of gender and environment, experience and perceptual competencies, sparing, recovery, and transplants.
Bryan Kolb is Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, and coauthor of Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology. Richard Tees is Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.