Principles of Brain Evolution

by Georg F. Striedter

Brain evolution is a complex weave of species similarities and differences, bound by diverse rules or principles. This book is a detailed examination of these principles, using data from a wide array of vertebrates but minimizing technical details and terminology. It is written for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and more senior scientists who already know something about “the brain,” but want a deeper understanding of how diverse brains evolved.

The book opens with a brief history of evolutionary neuroscience, then introduces the various groups of vertebrates and their major brain regions. The core of the text explores: what aspects of brain organization are conserved across the vertebrates; how brains and bodies changed in size as vertebrates evolved; how individual brain regions tend to increase or decrease in size; how regions can become structurally more (or less) complex; and how neuronal circuitry evolves. A central theme emerges from these chapters—that evolutionary changes in brain size tend to correlate with many other aspects of brain structure and function, including the proportional size of individual brain regions, their complexity, and their neuronal connections. To explain these correlations, the book delves into rules of brain development and asks how changes in brain structure impact function and behavior. The two penultimate chapters demonstrate the application of these rules, focusing on how mammal brains diverged from other brains and how Homo sapiens evolved a very large and “special” brain.


The Amygdala: A Functional Analysis

by John P. Aggleton

The amygdala is a central component of the limbic brain system and is known to be vital to understanding aspects of emotions, memory and social behavior. Dysfuction of the structure is also thought to contribute to a variety of disorders, including autism, Alzheimer’s Disease and
schizophrenia. The nature of its contribution to these fundamental aspects of behavior and cognition, and its relationship with other regions of the brain has remained elusive. However, since Aggleton’s first book on the subject – The Amygdala: Neurobiological Aspects of Emotion, Memory, and Mental
Dysfunction (1992) – there have been some major advances in our understanding of the processes involved and a dramatic rise in the volume of research. Scientists are now able to define its contribution in an increasingly precise manner. Leading experts from around the world have contributed chapters to this comprehensive and unique review, describing current thinking on the enigmatic brain structure. This book for all those with an interest in the neural basis of emotion and memory.



Texture of the Nervous System of Man and the Vertebrates

by Santiago Ramon y Cajal

The three volumes offer the scientific community the works and thoughts of Santiago Ramsn y Cajal by the faithful rendition of the original Spanish version of the Texture of the Nervous System of Man and the Vertebrates (1899-1904), with additional facts contained in the French translation (1909-1911). These non-English versions are being quoted an average of 200 times yearly in the scientific literature. The collection will represent the “definitive Cajal” to be used by scientists and scholars interested in the original thoughts of probably the most prominent neuroscientist of all times. Unique features of the present work include: Only authorized English translation of the original Spanish text, adhering as much as possible to the letter, with correction of the obvious errors already predicted by Cajal in his Preface. Added facts appearing in the French version, with correction of old as well as new errors, the latter probably due to inaccuracies in translating into French some nuances of the Spanish language. Uniform of nomenclature according to contemporary scientific English. Annotations on Cajal’s changing concepts over time, the elucidation of certain structures that do not have present day equivalents, and explanations of the many symbols appearing in illustrations but not mentioned in the corresponding original legends. Most illustrations are reproductions of Cajal’s original art work, still extant at the Cajal Museum in Madrid, with cross references to figure numbers of the Spanish and French versions. Citations are given by author and year in the text, with an alphabetical list at the end of the volume, completed and corrected for accuracy against original publications. Taxonomy glossary of species appearing in the text, with present scientific names, and their colloquial English counterparts. In sum, the collection represents the “definitive Cajal” to be used by scientists and scholars interested in the original writings of probably the most prominent neuroscientist of all times.



The Hippocampus Book.

by Per Andersen, Richard Morris, David Amaral, Tim Bliss, John O’Keefe.

“The Hippocampus Book is–in a word–masterful. It is a work of deep scholarship, a labor of love delivered by a group of scientists who have devoted much of their working lives to the pursuit of understanding this brain system. One may not agree with all of it, but from this day forward it is the essential resource for all matters hippocampal, from molecules to memory.”–Lynn Nadel, Regents Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Arizona

“It might seem odd to focus an encyclopedic volume on a single organ of the brain. But the hippocampus is more than a brain structure – it represents the many levels of analysis we pursue in understanding the neurobiology of memory. Deservedly then, on occasion it is important to characterize the state of our knowledge in this important area, and this book is the first to do so since the 1970s. Written by prominent leaders in the field, it is marvelously comprehensive in scope and rich in interpretation, a must read for every student seeking on overview of the field from molecules to memory.”–Howard Eichenbaum, Director, Center for Memory and Brain, Boston University



The Hippocampus as a Cognitive Map

by John O’Keefe and Lynn Nadel. Originally published by Oxford University Press in 1978. The authors have regained the copyright from OUP and are now making the full content publicly available. [PDF available]



In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind

by Eric R. Kandel.

“Kandel, who received the Nobel Prize in 2000, traces advances in understanding learning and memory. His own groundbreaking findings showed that learningproduces changes in behavior by modifying the strength of connections between nerve cells. He conveys his immense grasp of the science beautifully, but it is his personal recollections that make the book especially compelling. He begins with his searing childhood memories of the German annexation of Austria and his family’s escape to the U.S. when he was nine. And he ends with a conference he organized in Vienna to examine the strange reluctance of Austria (unlike Germany) to acknowledge its role in the Holocaust. One comes away in awe of the scientific advances—and of a life well and fully lived.” –Editors of Scientific American

Translated to spanish:Eric Richard Kandel. En busca de la memoria. El nacimiento de una nueva ciencia de la mente
ISBN 9788493543280, rústica – España. Fecha de aparición: julio de 2007

Interview with Eric R. Kandel: From Memory, Free Will, and the Problem with Freud to Fortunate Decisions.

The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach

by Christof Kock and Francis Crick

“The book describes a general neurobiological framework for discovering how consciousness, the subjective mind, arises out of the flickering interactions among the neurons of the cerebral cortex and related brain areas. The book is based on collaborative work between Francis Crick and myself from 1990 until 2004.” –C. Koch (author)

Christof Kock Lab and Home Page
Translated to spanish: La Consciencia : Una Aproximacion Neurobiologica. Editorial Ariel, S.A. – 2005



Synaptic Plasticity: Molecular, Cellular, and Functional Aspects

by Richard F. Thompson

Publisher Comments:

Synaptic Plasticity presents an up-to-date overview of the current status of research on the full scope of synaptic plasticity, including synaptic remodeling in response to damage, long-term depression and long-term potentiation, and learning and memory.



Introduction to Electrophysiological Methods and Instrumentation

by Franklin Bretschneider, Jan de Weill



Foundations of Cellular Neurophysiology

by Daniel Johnston, Samuel Miao-Sin Wu



Rhythms of the Brain

by Gyorgy Buzsaki
György Buzsáki, author of Rhythms of the Brain (OUP 2006) is a Professor of Neuroscience at Rutgers University. His book is a comprehensive review of the current state of research in the field of brain oscillations. It includes the role of these oscillations in sleep and memory.

“Gyorgy Buzsaki’s Rhythms of the Brain is an excellent compendium on the rapidly expanding research into the mechanisms and functions of neuronal synchronization. Buzsaki presents such synchronization as a binding glue that integrates many levels of neuroscientific investigation with one another and with neighboring disciplines…Buzsaki manages to elegantly integrate insights from physics, engineering, and cognitive psychology with contributions from cellular, systems, cognitive, and theoretical neuroscience.”–Science

In episode 31 of the Brain Science Podcast Dr. Buzáki explains why the rhythms of the brain are important and reflects on why this field has been neglected by some neuroscientists. I think he makes a convincing case for the position that these rhythms are an essential component of brain function.

Listen to Dr. György Buzsáki’s interview about Brain Rhythms

György Buzsáki, Professor of Neuroscience at Rutgers University

Buzsaki Lab



Signal Processing for Neuroscientists: An Introduction to the Analysis of Physiological Signals

by Wim van Drongelen



Spikes: Exploring the Neural Code

by Fred Rieke, David Warland, Rob de Ruyter van Steveninck, William Bialek

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