Quarterly Review of Biology
The focus of this volume is on how nervous systems work and why they work as they do in the context of “the problems that brains help organisms solve” (p. xix). Accordingly, throughout this 16-chapter publication, the focus of the author is more on neural architecture and functioning at the circuitry and systems levels of analysis than on cellular and genetic factors. Actually, I found a nicely balanced and constantly interwoven discussion of all of these levels of analysis. The opening chapter is an overview of neuroanatomy and organization, neural circuitry, and functional architecture.
In order, the following chapters cover neural computation and neural plasticity; embryonic development; the brain’s responses to physical trauma, toxins, and pathogens; distal and proximal sensory systems and processing, and cognitive maps; muscles, glands, and vital bodily functions; posture and locomotion; spatial orientation and processing; stimulus identification; memory and memory dysfunctions; goal-directed actions; and species and gender brain differences. Although earlier chapters do provide a foundation for later material, I found that after the first three or four chapters, the remaining chapters by and large stand alone.
Copyright © 2016, University of Chicago Press
University of Chicago Press
Tibbetts, Paul, "Review: 'Neurobiology: A Functional Approach'" (2016). Philosophy Faculty Publications. 118.