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