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Neurobiology and Neurology

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Approximately five percent of all children are born with the disorder known as specific language impairment (SLI). These children show a significant deficit in spoken language ability with no obvious accompanying condition such as mental retardation, neurological damage, or hearing impairment. Children with Specific Language Impairment covers all aspects of SLI, including its history, possible genetic and neurobiological origins, and clinical and educational practice.

Neurobiological and Molecular Mechanisms of Sexual Motivation

What arouses an animal or human from an inactive, nonresponsive state to a condition of activity and responsiveness? What are the biological mechanisms for this change? In this book Donald W. Pfaff focuses on a reproductive behavior typical of many female animals. Sensory stimuli from the male trigger responses in a well-defined circuit of nerve cells. At the top of the circuit, certain nerve cells receive and retain sex hormones such as estrogens and progesterone.

Exploring the Neural Code

What does it mean to say that a certain set of spikes is the right answer to a computational problem? In what sense does a spike train convey information about the sensory world? Spikes begins by providing precise formulations of these and related questions about the representation of sensory signals in neural spike trains. The answers to these questions are then pursued in experiments on sensory neurons.

This book examines the biological, especially the neural, substrates of affiliation and related social behaviors. Affiliation refers to social behaviors that bring individuals closer together. This includes such associations as attachment, parent-offspring interactions, pair-bonding, and the building of coalitions. Affiliations provide a social matrix within which other behaviors, including reproduction and aggression, may occur.

Regulators of Physiological Processes

In recent years there has been increasing interest and, subsequently, active research in neuropeptides. These neuroactive molecules coordinate, integrate, and regulate physiological processes in all organisms, throughout all phases of development. Acting as neurohormones, neurotransmitters, and/or neuromodulators, they maintain physiological homeostasis and influence important behavioral patterns. This textbook is the first to bring together and synthesize the neuropeptide research of the past decade in such a comprehensive, scholarly manner.

Most practical applications of artificial neural networks are based on a computational model involving the propagation of continuous variables from one processing unit to the next. In recent years, data from neurobiological experiments have made it increasingly clear that biological neural networks, which communicate through pulses, use the timing of the pulses to transmit information and perform computation.

Because neurons and glia in culture are remarkably similar to those in situ, culture systems make it possible to identify significant cell interactions and to elucidate their mechanisms. This book is in many ways a do-it-yourself manual for culturing nerve cells, complete with recipes and protocols. But it also provides an understanding of the principles behind the protocols. In effect the contributors invite you into their labs and provide much of the information you would obtain from such a visit.

A Connectionist Perspective on Development

Rethinking Innateness asks the question, "What does it really mean to say that a behavior is innate?" The authors describe a new framework in which interactions, occurring at all levels, give rise to emergent forms and behaviors. These outcomes often may be highly constrained and universal, yet are not themselves directly contained in the genes in any domain-specific way.

Because memory enters into virtually all cognition, it is impossible to design cognitive models that view memory as a self-contained cognitive faculty. Instead, memory researchers focus on specific aspects of memory. Taking this regional approach to memory, the chapters of this volume evaluate models of the short-term retention of knowledge, conceptual knowledge, autobiographical knowledge, transitory mental representations, the neurobiological basis of memory, and age-related changes in human memory.

Structure, Function, and Dynamics

In Neural Organization, Arbib, Érdi, and Szentágothai integrate structural, functional, and dynamical approaches to the interaction of brain models and neurobiologcal experiments. Both structure-based "bottom-up" and function-based "top-down" models offer coherent concepts by which to evaluate the experimental data. The goal of this book is to point out the advantages of a multidisciplinary, multistrategied approach to the brain.

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