Neuroscience is one of the most fascinating and complex areas of scientific research, with new advances being made every day. In 50 Human Brain Ideas You Really Need to Know, Mo Costandi condenses all we know about the brain and how it works into series of introductions to the most important concepts. Outlining both long-standing theories - such as the function of neurons and synaptic transmission - and cutting-edge ideas - including neuroethics and brain-computer interfacing - with straightforward narrative and clear two-colour illustrations, this book is a perfect beginner's guide to the most powerful and mysterious organ in the body. The ideas explored include: The nervous impulse; Differences between the male and female brain; The root of addiction; Neurobiological basis for personality; The relationship between sleep and memory.
Moheb Costandi is a molecular and developmental neurobiologist turned science writer. He writes for the Guardian and Scientific American, and is the author of the weblog Neurophilosophy. He is based in London.
Introduction. STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM: The nervous system; The neuron doctrine; Glial cells; The nervous impulse; Synaptic transmission; Sensory perception; Movement; Topographic mapping; Specialized brain regions; Brain asymmetry. YOUR BRAIN, YOUR SELF: Mirror neurons; The connectome; Embodied cognition; Bodily awareness; Free will; Sex differences; Personality; Brain-damaged patients; The theatre of consciousness; Consciousness disorders. THOUGHT PROCESSES: Attention; Working memory; Learning and memory; Mental time travel; Memory (re)consolidation; Decision-making; Reward and motivation; Language processing; Executive function. THE DYNAMIC BRAIN: Cell migration and axon pathfinding; Cell death; Synaptic pruning; Neuroplasticity; Adolescence; Stress and the brain; The ageing brain; Neurodegeneration. BREAKING FROM DOGMA: Adult neurogenesis; Epigenetics; Default mode; Brain-wave oscillations; Prediction error. EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES AND CHALLENGES: Neural stem cells; Brain stimulation; Cognitive enhancement; Brain scanning; Decoding; Brain-computer interfacing; Neuroscience and the law; Neuroethics. Glossary. Index.