An examination of what makes us human and unique among all creatures—our brains.
No reader curious about our “little grey cells” will want to pass up Harvard neuroscientist John E. Dowling’s brief introduction to the brain. In this up-to-date revision of his 1998 book Creating Mind, Dowling conveys the essence and vitality of the field of neuroscience—examining the progress we’ve made in understanding how brains work, and shedding light on discoveries having to do with aging, mental illness, and brain health. The first half of the book provides the nuts-and-bolts necessary for an up-to-date understanding of the brain. Covering the general organization of the brain, early chapters explain how cells communicate with one another to enable us to experience the world. The rest of the book touches on higher-level concepts such as vision, perception, language, memory, emotion, and consciousness. Beautifully illustrated and lucidly written, this introduction elegantly reveals the beauty of the organ that makes us uniquely human.
John E. Dowling is professor emeritus at Harvard University, and has done extensive research into the neurobiology of vision. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Part I - Cellular Neurobiology: The Nuts and Bolts
1. THE UNIQUENESS OF THE BRAIN
2. BRAIN SIGNALS
3. NEUROMODULATION, DRUGS, AND THE BRAIN
4. SENSING THE WORLD
Part Two - Systems Neuroscience: Getting and Behaviors
5. SIMPLER NERVOUS SYSTEMS
6. VERTEBRATE BRAINS
7. VISION: WINDOW TO THE BRAIN
Part III - Cognitive Science: Higher Brain Function and Mind
8. FROM BRAIN TO MIND: VISUAL PERCEPTION
9. THE DYNAMIC BRAIN: DEVELOPMENT AND PLASTICITY
10. LANGUAGE AND BRAIN IMAGING
11. REMEMBERING THINGS: LEARNING AND MEMORY
12. THE EMOTIONAL BRAIN: RATIONALITY