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Physiology of Behavior (11th Edition)


Author: Neil R. Carlson

Publisher: Pearson; 11 edition


Publish Date: January 22, 2012

ISBN-10: 205239390

Pages: 768

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

I wrote the first edition of Physiology of Behavior over thirty years ago. When I did so, I had no idea I would someday be writing the eleventh edition. I’m still having fun, so I hope to do a few more. The interesting work coming out of my colleagues’ laboratories—a result of their creativity and hard work—has given me something new to say with each edition. Because there was so much for me to learn, I enjoyed writing this edition just as much as the first one. That is what makes writing new editions interesting: learning something new and then trying to find a way to convey the information to the reader.

The first part of the book is concerned with foundations: the history of the field, the structure and functions of neurons, neuroanatomy, psychopharmacology, and research methods. The second part is concerned with inputs and outputs: the sensory systems and the motor system. The third part deals with classes of species typical behavior: sleep, reproduction, emotional behavior, and ingestion. The chapter on reproductive behavior includes parental behavior as well as courting and mating. The chapter on emotion includes a discussion of fear, anger and aggression, communication of emotions, and feelings of emotions. The chapter on ingestive behavior covers the neural and metabolic bases of drinking and eating.

The fourth part of the book deals with learning, including research on synaptic plasticity, the neuralmechanisms that are responsible for perceptual learning and stimulus-response learning (including classical and instrumental conditioning), human amnesia, and the role of the hippocampal formation in relational learning. The final part of the book deals with verbal communication and neurological, mental, and behavioral disorders. The latter topic is covered in three chapters; the first discusses schizophrenia and the affective disorders; the second discusses the anxiety disorders, autism, attention deficit disorder, and stress disorders; and the third discusses drug abuse.

Each chapter begins with a Case History, which describes an episode involving a neurological disorder or an issue in neuroscience. Other case histories are included in the text of the chapters. Section Summaries with Thought Questions follow each major section of the book. They not only provide useful reviews, but also break each chapter into manageable chunks; the Thought Questions are designed to stimulate your own thinking about what you have just learned. Review Questions are provided at the end of each chapter to help you assess your understanding of the material. Definitions of Key Terms are printed in the margin near the places where the terms are first discussed. Pronunciation Guides for terms that might be difficult to pronounce are also found there.

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