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September 4, 1972

Introduction to Neuroscience

Author Affiliations

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Nashville, Tennessee


edited by Jeff Minckler, 420 pp, 661 illus, $22.50, C. V. Mosby Co., 1972.

JAMA. 1972;221(10):1168. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200230054030

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This book purports to introduce to the beginning student all of the neurologic sciences (ie, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, communication theory, psychobiology, neurochemistry). But the detailed descriptions of human neuroanatomy so overshadow the other contributions that the book cannot be recommended as an introduction to the neurosciences.

The editor has himself written 14 of the 24 chapters, forming 284 of the 405 pages of text. After a moderately detailed description of topographic human brain anatomy, he plunges into an extensive exposition of functional neural pathways. Numerous clear diagrams illuminate the verbal descriptions. Throughout, the approach is traditional; for example, the editor uses the term extrapyramidal system without quotation marks or apology.

The other ten chapters, written by nine contributors, vary considerably in their quality, but, in general, they do not match the editor's neuroanatomy in rigor, quality, or space allotted. Electrophysiology is covered in ten pages and psychobiology is restricted to only