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Behavioral Neuroscience, Eighth Edition

Behavioral Neuroscience, Eighth Edition PDF

Author: S. Marc Breedlove

Publisher: Sinauer Associates


Publish Date: 2017

ISBN-10: B01MY26ED8

Pages: 815

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

For over 20 years now, we have been striving to make Biological Psychology the definitive and comprehensive undergraduate survey of the neuroscience of behavior. Thanks to the explosion of discovery in the neurosciences, each of the past seven editions has included more neural details than the one before. Thus we felt the time had come to revise the title to reflect the evolution of both the book and the field: Behavioral Neuroscience. Many courses and degree programs have already made this transition in nomenclature, and for the same reasons. The wealth of data coming from the neurosciences means we spend more time talking, writing, and thinking about neuroscience than any other field of biology while, of course, maintaining our focus on behavior. We’re still full-fledged psychologists (between us we have six degrees and all are in psychology), but we’re also card-carrying neuroscientists, so the new title seems better suited to our personal outlooks as well as the state of the field. It would have been fine to have a title using both psychology and neuroscience, but Neuroscientific Psychology and Psychological Neuroscience both sounded awkward, while the term neuropsychology already describes a rather narrow slice of the material we cover. So Behavioral Neuroscience it is and will be for the foreseeable future.

As in previous revisions, there have been plenty of new findings to include. In fact, the problem we face is which of the many, many new findings to leave out— those that are not quite essential for a survey of the field. We work hard to be judicious in what we add, and still it seems like a waterfall of new information and ideas. Over 600 new papers are cited in this edition. If that sounds like a lot, let us give you a perspective on how many new papers were omitted. On our newsfeed site ( or over 1300 new links relevant to behavioral neuroscience were added in 2015 alone. Those are just the findings that were important enough to get the attention of mass media reporters. Over 31,000 new articles indexed under “neuroscience” appeared that year in PubMed, where the pace is set to reach over 44,000 articles in 2016. It would take several textbooks just to list the titles of papers we couldn’t include. Despite being very selective in sampling from this deluge of new information, we have made substantial changes in every chapter. For example, in Chapter 2 we talk about growing concerns that the algorithms guiding fMRI analysis may be faulty, and in Chapter 7 we discuss new brain-scanning methods to visualize Tau as well as amyloid for screening for Alzheimer’s. Chapter 13 contains a discussion of new evidence that long-lasting metabolic changes work against permanent weight loss, and in Chapter 17 we outline the growing consensus for a dual process model of human memory that distinguishes between familiarity and recollection. Several chapters have new Cutting Edge material, like the use of DREADDS in Chapter 5 and the important new insights in pain mechanisms revealed by the study of scorpion venom in Chapter 8. Other ad- ditions have been made, not because of new developments but to provide a broader perspective of the field. For example, Chapter 3 now discusses the Nernst and Goldman equations and includes a box on patch clamping, while new figures depict sleep in hunter-gatherer societies (Chapter 14) and the importance of a sense of life purpose for surviving heart disease (Chapter 15). Several chapters include new case studies, like the story of Mary Lou Jepsen, who without endogenous pituitary hormones must titrate her personality as she takes exogenous hormones (Chapter 5); “Bella,” who found out the night before starting junior high that she had been born a boy (Chapter 12); and Eleanor, who began hearing voices her first year in college (Chapter 16). As in past revisions, we keep squeezing into the page proofs fascinating tidbits that have just come to light, tempting the patience of the editorial staff. We feel confident in our status as the official “impossible authors” of Sinauer Associates.

We’ve also retained two very popular changes introduced in the previous edition: The Cutting Edge at the end of each chapter, where we explore some of the most exciting examples of recent research, followed by a Visual Summary, where students see graphic reminders as they review the principle findings that we just presented. As in the previous edition, we also encourage students to use these Visual Summaries online, where with just a click they can review figures, animations, and quizzes to help them integrate the material. We also continue to open each chapter with a gripping vignette, relating someone’s real-life experiences that will be better understood as the content of the chapter unfolds, and we continue to replace several of these vignettes as more recent events bring to the surface many of the important issues in behavioral neuroscience. Likewise we’ve retained the marginal glossary that makes sure students can always find the definitions they need to incorporate the material, as well as two features to guide students when they want to burrow in on a particular subject: the online supplements called A Step Further found throughout the text, and the Recommended Reading at the close of each chapter.

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