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Essentials of Cognitive Neuroscience

ISBN: 978-1-118-46806-7
608 pages
February 2015, ©2014, Wiley-Blackwell
Essentials of Cognitive Neuroscience (1118468066) cover image


Essentials of Cognitive Neuroscience guides undergraduate and early-stage graduate students with no previous neuroscientific background through the fundamental principles and themes in a concise, organized, and engaging manner.
  • Provides students with the foundation to understand primary literature, recognize current controversies in the field, and engage in discussions on cognitive neuroscience and its future
  • Introduces important experimental methods and techniques integrated throughout the text
  • Assists student comprehension through four-color images and thorough pedagogical resources throughout the text
  • Accompanied by a robust website with multiple choice questions, experiment vidoes, fMRI data, web links and video narratives from a global group of leading scientists for students. For Instructors there are sample syllabi and exam questions
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Table of Contents

Preface xvi

Acknowledgments xix

Methodology Boxes xxi

Walkthrough of Pedagogical Features xxii

Companion Website xxiv


1 Introduction and History 4

2 The Brain 22


3 Sensation and Perception of Visual Signals 54

4 Audition and Somatosensation 85

5 The Visual System 120

6 Spatial Cognition and Attention 153

7 Skeletomotor Control 196

8 Oculomotor Control and the Control of Attention 229


9 Visual Object Recognition and Knowledge 262

10 Neural Bases of Memory 286

11 Declarative Long?]Term Memory 312

12 Semantic Long?]Term Memory 336

13 Short?]Term and Working Memory 360


14 Cognitive Control 397

15 Decision Making 422

16 Social Behavior 449

17 Emotion 476

18 Language 502

19 Consciousness 531

Glossary 562

Index 571

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Author Information

Bradley R. Postle is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has taught cognitive neuroscience to undergraduates for many years and published over 75 scientific journal articles and chapters on the cognitive neuroscience of memory. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, and has previously served in this capacity at the journals NeuroImage and Cortex.

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Postle's Essentials of Cognitive Neuroscience invites the reader to join in the scientific exploration of mind and brain.  The field is presented, not just as a collection of facts, but as an approach to answering enduring questions about how experience, thought, and behavior arise from activity in the brain.  The student becomes, not just a bystander, but a participant in the process of scientific discovery.—Jay McClelland, Director, Center for Mind Brain and Computation, Stanford University

This highly readable textbook provides a concise, easily accessible and up-to-date introduction to the field of cognitive neuroscience.—John-Dylan Haynes, Bernstein Center for Comptutational Neuroscience, Charité Berlin, Germany

Cognitive neuroscience is an exceptionally exciting and rapidly advancing field in which progress is made through research diverse approaches in animals as well as humans.  Brad Postle articulates the essential knowledge of this field in a masterful synthesis that will guide a new generation of students in appreciating that progress in understanding how the brain generates 'thought'.—Howard Eichenbaum, Center for Memory and Brain, Boston University

This is a brilliantly written and beautifully illustrated book charting the breadth and depth of cognitive neuroscience from its historical roots to the hottest controversies in the field today. If you think you know everything about cognitive neuroscience then this book will show you that you’re wrong. And if you are just getting going, then this is the perfect place to start.—Adrian M. Owen, The University of Western Ontario, Canada

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