An Introduction to Nervous Systems

An Introduction to Nervous Systems

Paperback Textbook

By (author) Ralph J. Greenspan

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  • Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press,U.S.
  • Format: Paperback | 172 pages
  • Dimensions: 112mm x 184mm x 14mm | 136g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2007
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0879698217
  • ISBN 13: 9780879698218
  • Edition: 1
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 737,872

Product description

An Introduction to Nervous Systems presents the principles of neurobiology from an evolutionary perspective - from single-celled organisms to complex invertebrates such as flies - and is ideal for use as a supplemental textbook. Greenspan describes the mechanisms that allow behavior to become ever more sophisticated - from simple avoidance behavior of Paramecium through to the complex cognitive behaviors of the honeybee - and shows how these mechanisms produce the increasing neural complexity found in these organisms. The book ends with a discussion of what is universal about nervous systems and what may be required, neurobiologically, to be human. This novel and highly readable presentation of fundamental principles of neurobiology is designed to be accessible to undergraduate and graduate students not already steeped in the subject.

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Review quote

This beautifully crafted book embraces the structural diversity of brains and distills out the important operational common ground on which all nervous systems function. In the process, the reader is both entertained and educated... Greenspan's book should be a wake-up call for neurobiologists...With the range of genetic tools becoming available, it is now possible to move beyond the standard model systems. We can begin to choose animals with interesting behaviors first and foremost, and then wiggle our way into the animals' genes. Greenspan's book is a perfect vehicle for getting such a message out, and should be of interest both to working neuroscientists and to the next generation of biologists. Nature Neuroscience ...an eloquent mixture of fundamental neuroscience and evolutionary biology. The savvy and sophisticated neuroscientist will find themselves learning about evolution; the evolutionary biologist will be led through a remarkably clear exposition of ion channels and action potentials, the fundamental elements of nervous activity. Smart high-school students will find an accessible and engaging account that reveals the magic and mysteries of nervous-system function in a wide range of animals. The book will be especially useful as a text for university-level courses wishing to provide students without previous knowledge of neuroscience a broad context with which to understand how nervous systems generate behaviour. Nature This short, excellent book should be required reading for anyone who believes that, to understand the complications of the vertebrate brain, you can ignore the invertebrates. Studying the squid may have taught us how individual axons conduct electrical impulses, but what can the invertebrates really tell us about the workings of networks of neurons in the human cerebral cortex? Quite a bit, comes the answer from Ralph Greenspan, a distinguished neuroscientist working in San Diego, California... This book will certainly encourage a new generation of neuroscientists to look to the invertebrates in the search for the principles that underlie the workings of all complicated nervous systems. It fills an important niche alongside the larger, well-established text books of neuroscience, and is strongly recommended. BioEssays

Table of contents

Preface Introduction: What are brains for? 1. Avoidance and the cingle Cell: Ionic signals 2. You can't run but maybe you can hide: Chemical signals 3. Truth for the jellyfish: Coordination to fit the occasion 4. Modulation: The spice of neural life 5. An Internal wake-up call 6. Wanderlust 7. Love on the fly 8. The world as we find It 9. Are all brains alike? Are all brains different? Bibliography Glossary Index