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Book Reviews
August 2008

The Thalamus, 2nd ed

Author Affiliations

OlafStüveMD, PhD


by Edward G. Jones, MD, PhD, 1679 pp, $525, ISBN-13 978-0-5218-5881-6, Cambridge, England, Cambridge University Press, 2007.


Copyright 2008 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2008

Arch Neurol. 2008;65(8):1131-1134. doi:10.1001/archneur.65.8.1131

When asked to review The Thalamus, I immediately agreed, wanting to update and increase my knowledge of this mysterious nucleus at the center of the nervous system. I got more than I bargained for: a 2-volume text running to 1679 pages and weighing in at 14 lbs. This is a very impressive body of work and an immense achievement by the author, Edward G. Jones, who is director of the Center for Neuroscience at University of California Davis. It is the second edition of his book, 2 decades after his initial publication and twice the size and 1 decade after Thalamus: Organization and Function, which he coauthored with Mircea Steriade and David McCormick.1As the most current comprehensive text about the mammalian thalamus, The Thalamusbecomes the reference source for neuroscientists. However, it is not as readable as his collaboration with Steriade and McCormick, which communicates more lucidly such concepts as the integrated function of this structure, or as easy to search for a straight answer to a query, and although published in 2007, the citations peter out after 2003 so it is already perhaps 20% as dated as his collaboration with Steriade and McCormick. For example, the chapter on neurochemistry writes: “There is essentially no dopamine innervation of the thalamus” prior to the demonstration by Sanchez-Gonzalez et al of substantial dopamine innervation of the primate thalamus in 2005.

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