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Neuroscience For Dummies

ISBN: 978-1-118-08686-5
384 pages
December 2011
Neuroscience For Dummies (1118086864) cover image
Get on the fast track to understanding neuroscience

Research into the human brain has exploded in recent years, and neuroscience has become a major program at many universities and a required course for a wide range of studies. Neuroscience For Dummies tracks to an introductory neuroscience class, giving you an understanding of the brain's structure and function, as well as a look into the relationship between memory, learning, emotions, and the brain. Providing insight into the biology of mental illness and a glimpse at future treatments and applications of neuroscience, Neuroscience For Dummies is a fascinating read for students and general interest readers alike.

The brain holds the secrets to our personalities, our use of language, our love of music, and our memories. Neuroscience For Dummies looks at how this complex structure works, according to the most recent scientific discoveries, illustrated by helpful diagrams and engaging anecdotes.

  • Helpful diagrams and engaging anecdotes enhance material
  • The latest scientific discoveries are sprinkled throughout
  • Tracks to a typical introductory neuroscience class

From how the brain works to how you feel emotions, Neuroscience For Dummies offers a comprehensive overview of the fascinating study of the human brain.

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Introduction 1

Part I: Introducing Your Nervous System 7

Chapter 1: A Quick Trip through the Nervous System 9

Chapter 2: All about the Brain and Spinal Cord 23

Chapter 3: Understanding How Neurons Work 47

Part II: Translating the Internal and External World through Your Senses 65

Chapter 4: Feeling Your Way: The Skin Senses 67

Chapter 5: Looking at Vision 83

Chapter 6: Sounding Off: The Auditory System 103

Chapter 7: Odors and Taste 119

Part III: Moving Right Along: Motor Systems 135

Chapter 8: Movement Basics 137

Chapter 9: Coordinating Things More: The Spinal Cord and Pathways 149

Chapter 10: Planning and Executing Actions 161

Chapter 11: Unconscious Actions with Big Implications 179

Part IV: Intelligence: The Thinking Brain and Consciousness 197

Chapter 12: Understanding Intelligence, Consciousness, and Emotions 199

Chapter 13: How the Brain Processes Thoughts 223

Chapter 14: The Executive Brain 243

Chapter 15: Learning and Memory 259

Chapter 16: Developing and Modifying Brain Circuits: Plasticity 283

Chapter 17: Neural Dysfunctions, Mental Illness, and Drugs That Affect the Brain 305

Part V: The Part of Tens 317

Chapter 18: Ten Crucial Brain Structures 319

Chapter 19: Ten Tricks of Neurons That Make Them Do What They Do 327

Chapter 20: Ten Amazing Facts about the Brain 335

Chapter 21: Ten Promising Treatments for the Future 343

Index 351

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Frank Amthor is a professor of Psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he also holds secondary appointments in the UAB Medical School Department of Neurobiology, the School of Optometry, and the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering.
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December 05, 2011
Gain Insight On Your Own Identity with Neuroscience For Dummies

The brain holds the secrets to how your body operates, including your personality, your use of language and your memories.  Research into the human brain has exploded in recent years, and neuroscience has become a major program at many universities and a required course for a wide range of studies.

Neuroscience For Dummies (Wiley; December 2011) provides an understanding of the brain’s structure and function, as well as a look into the relationship between memory, learning, emotions, and the brain.  With insight into the biology of mental illness and a glimpse at future treatments and applications of neuroscience, Neuroscience For Dummies is a fascinating read for students and general interest readers alike.

Frank Amthor is available for interviews and is able to speak about:

  • The latest advances in treating brain injuries, including pharmacological therapies, transplants, electrical stimulation, and neural prostheses;
  • Environmental effects on the development of the human brain;
  • Changes in the brain as you age, and everyday strategies to maintain cognitive abilities;
  • The “10 Percent Myth”: the origins of this myth are unknown, but scientists have categorically dismissed it. Do you think you’d be able to properly function with 90% of your brain removed?
  • How gender affects brain function;
  • How the brain processes emotion and uses memory to adapt behavior.
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