Neurobiology A Functional Approach

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-10-02
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Focusing on the problems that brains help organisms solve, Neurobiology: A Functional Approach asks not only how the nervous system works but also why it works as it does. This text introduces readers to neurobiology through an evolutionary, organismal, and experimental perspective. With a strong emphasis on neural circuits and systems, it bridges the gap between the cellular and molecular end and the cognitive end of the neuroscience spectrum, allowing students to grasp the full breadth of the subject. Neurobiology covers not only what neuroscientists have learned about the brain in terms of facts and ideas, but also how they have learned it through key experiments.

Author Biography

Georg F. Striedter is Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior at University of California, Irvine. Dr. Striedter's research focuses on the evolution of brain development in different animal species.

Table of Contents

The end of every chapter contains a Summary, Key Terms, and Additional Readings.
About the Author

Chapter 1 - Nervous System Organization
1.1 How Do Neuroscientists Study the Brain?
The Value of Why Questions
1.2 What Are the Basic Components of the Nervous System?
Neuroanatomical Nomenclature
Major Divisions of the Nervous System
Neurons and Glial Cells
1.3 What Kinds of Circuits Do Neurons Form?
Principles of Neural Circuit Organization
1.4 What Is the Brain's Functional Architecture?
Early Ideas on Brain Organization
Modern Views of Brain Organization
1.5 How Can Scientists "Reverse Engineer" the Brain?
Functional Decomposition Strategies
1.6 How Do Brains Evolve?
Descent with Conservation and Modification
Which Species to Study?

Chapter 2 - Computing with Neurons
2.1 What Are Neurons?
History of the Neuron Doctrine
Basic Features of a Stereotypical Neuron
2.2 What Mechanisms Generate Resting and Action Potentials?
Ionic Basis of the Resting Potential
Ionic Basis of the Action Potential
2.3 How Do Action Potentials Travel along Axons?
A Traveling Wave of Membrane Depolarization
The Effects of Myelination
2.4 How Do Neurons Transmit and Integrate Information?
Synaptic Transmission
Synaptic Integration
2.5 How Do Neurons Differ from One Another?
Anatomical Variety
Neurotransmitter Variety
Receptor Variety
Ion channel Variety
2.6 Neuronal Information Processing
How Neurons Encode Information
Brains Versus Computers

Chapter 3 - Neuronal Plasticity
3.1 How Are Synapses Strengthened in the Marine Snail Aplysia?
Sensitization in Aplysia
Making sensitization Last for Days
3.2 How Are Synapses Strengthened in Mammals?
Hippocampal Long-Term Potentiation
Hebbian Long-Term Potentiation
Mechanisms of LTP Induction
Mechanisms of LTP Stabilization
3.3 When Are Synapses Weakened?
Cerebellar Long-Term Depression
Spike Timing-Dependent Plasticity
3.4 Can Inactive Neurons Strengthen Their Inputs?
3.5 Can Experiences Rewire the Brain?
Turnover of Dendritic Spines
Sprouting of Axonal Connections
Sensory Cortex Plasticity
Motor Cortex Plasticity
3.6 How Does Experience Affect Brain and Cortex Size?
3.7 Does Neural Plasticity Cause Learning and Memory?

Chapter 4 - Developing a Nervous System
4.1 Where in the Embryo Does the Nervous System Originate?
Induction of the Nervous System
Forming the Neural Tube
4.2 How Does the Neural Tube Get Subdivided?
Rostrocaudal Patterning
Dorsoventral Patterning
Midbrain and Forebrain Patterning
4.3 Where Do Neurons Come From?
Radial Neuronal Migration
Neurogenesis Timing and Cell Fate
4.4 How Do Axons Find Their Targets?
Axonal Growth Cones
Growth Cone Guidance
The Retinotectal System
4.5 How Do Synapses Form?
Filopodial Interactions
Synapse Formation
4.6 How Can a Neural Circuit Be Fine-Tuned?
Developmental Neuron Death
Pruning and Sprouting Neuronal Connections
4.7 What Are the Major Themes of Neural Development?

Chapter 5 - Protecting and Maintaining the Adult Nervous System
5.1 Are New Neurons Added to Adult Brains?
Neuronal Birth-dating Experiments
5.2 How Is the Brain Protected from Physical Trauma?
Meninges and Cerebrospinal Fluid
Pressure Kills Neurons
5.3 How Does the Brain Protect Itself Against Toxins and Pathogens?
The Blood-brain Barrier
The Blood-CSF and Arachnoid Barriers
5.4 How Does the Nervous System Respond to an Attack?
The Brain's Immune Response
Minimizing Neuron Death
Functional Recovery Through Brain Rewiring
5.5 How Do Neurons Get Their Energy?
Sources of Metabolic Energy
Cerebral Blood Flow
Linking Blood Flow to Neuronal Activity
5.6 What Links Body and Brain?

Chapter 6 - Sensors I: Remote Sensing
6.1 How Do We Sense Darkness and Light?
Special Regions of the Retina
Rod Photoreceptors
Cone Photoreceptors
Pathways Through the Retina
The Puzzle of the Inverted Vertebrate Retina
6.2 How Do We Sense Odors?
Olfactory Epithelium
Olfactory Receptor Molecules
The Olfactory Bulb
6.3 How Do We Hear Sounds?
Outer and Middle Ears
The Cochlea
Encoding Sound Parameters
6.4 Are There Some Principles of Sensor Organization?
Variability in Sensor Range
Variability in Sensor Sensitivity
Labeled Lines
Sensory Maps

Chapter 7 - Sensors II: Sensing on Contact
7.1 How Do We Sense Touch and Vibration?
Encapsulated Nerve Endings
Central Projections of Mechanosensory Axons
7.2 How Do We Sense Pain?
Axons That Transmit Pain
Pain Modulation
7.3 How Do We Sense Temperature?
Temperature-sensitive TRP Channels
Food-activated TRP Channels
7.4 How Do We Taste Foods and Other Chemicals?
Taste Cells
Taste Receptor Molecules
Central Taste Pathways
Variations in Tasting Ability
7.5 How Can We Sense Our Body's Physiological Condition?
Sensing Tissue Acidity
Sensing Blood Chemistry
7.6 How Do We Sense Body Position and Movement?
Vestibular Sensors
7.7 What Are Some Common Themes of Contact Sensor Organization?
Variability in Sensor Range and Sensitivity
Labeled Lines and Sensory Maps

Chapter 8 - Using Muscles and Glands
8.1 How Do Neurons Control Skeletal Muscle?
The Contractile Machinery
Excitation-contraction Coupling
Controlling Muscle Force
Muscle Spindles
8.2 What Makes the Heart Beat?
Generation of the Cardiac Rhythm
Modulation of the Cardiac Rhythm
8.3 What Is Special About Smooth Muscle?
Smooth Muscle Anatomy
Smooth Muscle Physiology
Smooth Muscle Innervation
8.4 How Do Muscles Lengthen After Contractions?
Muscles Must Be Antagonized
8.5 How Do Neurons Control Hormones, and Vice Versa?
Endocrine Glands
The Posterior Pituitary
The Anterior Pituitary
Hippocampal Regulation of Stress Hormones

Chapter 9 - Regulating Bodily Functions
9.1 How Do We Maintain Physiological Stability?
9.2 What Parts of the Nervous System Control the Vital Bodily Functions?
The Sympathetic Division of the Autonomic Nervous System?
The Parasympathetic Division of the Autonomic Nervous System
Sensory Components of the Autonomic Nervous System
The Enteric Nervous System
9.3 How Do Neural Circuits Regulate the Vital Bodily Functions?
Adjusting Heart Rate
Regulating Blood Pressure
Controlling Breathing
Regulating Body Temperature
9.4 How Do Neurons Control Fluid and Energy Balance?
Balancing the Bodily Fluids
Regulating Digestion
Regulating Appetite
9.5 How Do We Coordinate Our Vegetative Processes?
Circadian Regulation
Dealing with Acute Stress
Effects of Chronic Stress

Chapter 10 - Controlling Posture and Locomotion
10.1 What is a Reflex?
Pupillary Reflexes
10.2 How Do Reflexes Protect Us From Harm?
The Eye Blink Reflex
Withdrawal Reflexes
10.3 How Do We Stabilize Our Body's Position?
Muscle Stretch Reflexes
Stabilizing the Eyes
Stabilizing the Head
Stabilizing the Body
Modulation of Postural Reflexes
10.4 How Do Animals Move through the World?
Central Pattern Generation
Swimming in Fishes
Walking in Quadrupeds
10.5 What Does the Motor Cortex Contribute to Motor Control?
Pathways Descending from Motor Cortex
Cortical Motor Maps
Encoding Movement Details
Mirror Neurons in the Premotor Cortex
Motor Cortex Plasticity
10.6 What Does the Cerebellum Contribute to Motor Control?
Cerebellar Anatomy
Cerebellar Function: Adaptive Feedforward Control
Cerebellar Dysfunction
Non-motor Functions of the Cerebellum
10.7 How Do the Motor Systems Interact?

Chapter 11 - Localizing Stimuli and Orienting in Space
11.1 How do the Somatosensory and Visual Systems Encode Space?
Spatial Mapping in the Somatosensory System
Spatial Mapping in the Visual System
11.2 How Can Animals Determine Where a Sound Came From?
Interaural Comparisons
Encoding Space in the Auditory Midbrain and Forebrain
11.3 In Which Spatial Coordinate System Should Stimuli Be Localized?
Movable Sensor Arrays
Spatial Coordinate Transformations
11.4 How Do Animals Orient Toward an Interesting Stimulus?
Targeted Eye Movements
Targeted Head Movements
Targeted Hand Movements
11.5 How Do Animals Navigate through Space?
Testing for Allocentric Navigation in Animals
Hippocampal Lesions Impair Allocentric Navigation
Hippocampal Place Cells

Chapter 12 - Identifying Stimuli and Stimulus Objects
12.1 What Coding Strategies Do Sensory Systems Employ?
Sparse and Efficient Sensory Coding
Grandmother Cells versus Combinatorial Coding
12.2 How Does the Visual System Identify Objects?
Retinal Receptive Fields
Thalamic Receptive Fields
Edges and Line Detectors in V1
Identifying Visual Motion
Identifying Color
Identifying Complex Visual Objects
12.3 How Do Neurons Encode Non-Visual Objects?
Object Identification in the Olfactory System
Identifying Sounds
Identifying Things by Touch or Taste
12.4 Are We Born with All the Neurons We Use to Identify Stimulus Objects?
Sensory Deprivation Experiments
Instructive Effects of Early Experience
12.5 Why Do We Experience Objects as Coherent Entities?
Binding through Temporal Correlation
Disorders of Perceptual Binding

Chapter 13 - Regulating Brain States
13.1 How Does the Brain Generate and Direct Attention?
Psychological Aspects of Attention
Neural Correlates of Involuntary Attention
Neural Correlates of Voluntary Attention
13.2 What Mechanisms Generate Behavioral Arousal?
The Electroencephalogram (EEG)
Ascending Arousal Systems
The Locus Coeruleus System
13.3 Why Do We Sleep, and What Helps Us Wake Up?
Stages of Sleep
The Origins of EEG Rhythms
Brain Systems That Wake Us Up
Brain Systems That Induce Sleep
13.4 What's Happening During REM Sleep?
13.5 Why Does the Brain Have Discrete States?

Chapter 14 - Remembering Relationships
14.1 How Many Forms of Learning And Memory Are There?
14.2 What's Wrong With H.M.?
H.M.'s Amnesia
The Sparing of Procedural Learning
14.3 Can H.M.'s Amnesia Be Reproduced in Non-humans?
Subdivisions of the Medial Temporal Lobe
Object Discrimination Tests in Rats
What Does the Hippocampus Do?
14.4 How Are Hippocampus-dependent Memories Created, and How Are They Recalled?
Hippocampal Circuits and Synaptic Plasticity
Pattern Learning within the Hippocampus
Memory Recall
14.5 What Happens to Memories as They Grow Old?
Systems Consolidation
The Formation of Neocortical Assemblies
14.6 What Makes Some Memories Stronger Than Others?
Boosting the Initial Experience
Post-training Memory Enhancement
Memory Modulation by the Basolateral Amygdala
Function of the Human Basolateral Amygdala
14.7 How Do Animals Learn What's Dangerous?
Auditory Fear Conditioning
Contextual Fear Conditioning
Inhibitory Avoidance Training
14.8 How Do We Learn What to Eat or Not to Eat?
Learning from Others
Learning from Nausea
Neural Substrates of Conditioned Taste Aversion
14.9 What Happens When Memories Conflict?
Habit versus Place Learning

Chapter 15 - Selecting Actions, Pursuing Goals
15.1 What Is the Frontostriatal System?
Complexities of Basal Ganglia Nomenclature
An Overarching Function for the Frontostriatal System
15.2 What Are the Direct and Indirect Pathways Through the Striatum?
Direct Frontostriatal Loops
The Indirect Pathway Through the Striatum
15.3 What Is the Influence of Dopamine on the Frontostriatal Loops?
Dopaminergic Modulation of the Striatum
Animal Models of Dopamine Depletion
Dopamine and Drugs of Abuse
15.4 How Do We Learn What to Do When?
Dopamine bursts Can Follow or Precede Rewards
Phasic Dopamine Bursts as Teaching Signals
15.5 How Do the Dorsal and the Ventral Striatum Relate to One Another?
15.6 What to Do With Prefrontal Cortex
Prefrontal Lobotomies
Response Inhibition
Working Memory
15.7 How Do the Components of the Frontostriatal System Work Together?

Chapter 16 - Being Different from Others
16.1 Which Species Should Neuroscientists Study, and Why?
The August Krogh Principle
Problems with the Model Species Concept
Studying Non-human Species for Their Own Sake
16.2 Who Evolved the Largest and Most Complex Brains?
Evolutionary Increases in Brain Size and Complexity
Allometric Brain Scaling
16.3 What Makes Human Brains Unique?
Primate Brain Evolution
The Neural Basis of Human Language
The Evolution of Language-related Circuitry
16.4 Do Brains Differ Between the Sexes?
Mechanisms of Sexual Differentiation
Sex Differences in Spinal Cord, Midbrain, and Hypothalamus
Sex Differences in the Telencephalon
16.5 Within a Sex, How Much Do Human Brains Vary?
Implications of Brain Variability for Functional Brain Imaging
Age-related Variability in Brains
16.6 What Can We Learn By Comparing Diverse Brains?
Working with Animal Models
Taking Advantage of "Natural Experiments"


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