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Need rec. for an intro to neurophysiology

Jennifer Myers jmyers at eecs.nwu.edu
Sat Nov 6 23:29:30 EST 1993

gal2 at midway.uchicago.edu writes:

> Hi all. I am looking for a good introductory text in neurophysiology.
> I picked up Bernard Katz's _Nerve, Muscle and Synapse_ (1966), because
> it was cited in Daniel Amit's _Modeling Brain Function_ (1989). Katz
> seems to be exactly what I'm looking for, ("The purpose of this book
> is to explain in simple language what is known about the transmission
> of messages in the living body.") --- but the book is about 20 years
> older than I'd be comfortable with.

The 3rd edition of ``From Neuron to Brain''(*) is an excellent
introductory text.  The authors state, in the preface to the first 

	``Our aim is to describe how nerve cells go about their
	business of trasmitting signals, how these signals are
	put together, and how out of this integration higher 
	functions emerge.  This book is directed to the reader
	who is curious about the workings of the nervous system
	but does no necessarily have a specialized background in 
	biological sciences.  ...  `From Neuron to Brain' 
	expresses our approach as well as our aims.  We work 
	mostly on the machinery that enables neurons to function.
	Students who become interested in the nervous system 
	almost always tell us that their curiousity stems from
	a desire to understand perception, consiousness, behavior,
	or other higher functions of the brain.  Knowing of our
	preoccupation with the workings of isolated nerve cells 
	or simple cell systems, they are frequently surprised 
	that we ourselves started with similar motivations, and
	they are even more surprised that we have retained those
	interests ...  Our book aims to substantiate this claim
	and, we hope, to show that we are pointed in the right

The text is divided into five sections: (1) Properties of Neurons
and Glia, (2) Communication between Excitable Cells, (3) Development
and Regeneration in the Nervous System, (4) Integrative Mechanisms, 
(5) The Visual System.

Once you've had a chance to look at that book, you might then consider
tackling the bible of neuroscience: ``Principles of Neural
Science.''(#) But it's a weighty book, (quite literally, in its 1135
pages of text) and ``From Neuron to Brain'' is much better suited as
an introductory text.

(*) Full references:

	Nichols, J.G., Martin, A.R., Wallace, B.G., 1992, From 
	Neuron to Brain, 3rd. Ed., Sunderland: Sinauer Associates

	Kandel, E.R., Schwartz, J.H., Jessell, T.M., 1991, Principles
	of Neural Science, 3rd. Ed., New York: Elsevier 

Jennifer Myers
Graduate student, Northwestern University Institute for Neuroscience
jmyers at eecs.nwu.edu (MIME)		http://marigold.eecs.nwu.edu:8001/

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