The Chemist | Journal of the American Institute of Chemists

Book Reviews

The Human Brain Book
Reviewed by Margot Hall
University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406


Book ReviewThis is a beautifully illustrated guide to the human brain. Essentially designed as a student aid, this book has 256 pages of color 3-D illustrations and PET scans. An accompanying DVD-ROM allows the student to experience interactive exercises with brain scans and brain anatomy.

The book has a table of contents, 14 sections/chapters, a glossary, an index, and a list of acknowledgments. It lacks a bibliography of further reading. Essentially laid out as illustrations with explanatory text, this book was planned as a manual for health care professionals or a neuroscience/medical reference for the family. Of particular interest is a chapter which presents 50 different brain related diseases and mental disorders with accompanying test scans and explanations.

An introductory section includes: No Ordinary Organ, Investigating the Brain, Landmarks in Neuroscience, Scanning the Brain, and A Journey through the Brain. Section 2 (The Brain and the Body) includes: Brain Functions, Nervous System, The Brain and the Nervous System, Brain Size- Energy Use- and Protection, and Evolution. Section 3 (Brain Anatomy) includes: Brain Structures, Brain Zones and Partitions, The Nuclei of the Brain, The Thalamus- Hypothalamus- and Pituitary Gland, The Brainstem and Cerebellum, The Limbic System, The Cerebral Cortex, Brain Cells, and Nerve Impulses. Section 4 (The Senses) includes: How We Sense the World, The Eye, The Visual Cortex, Visual Pathways, Visual Perception, Seeing, The Ear, Making Sense of Sound, Hearing, Smell, Perceiving Smell, Taste, Touch, The Sixth Sense [Proprioception], Pain Signals, and Experiencing Pain. Section 5 (Movement and Control) includes: Regulation, The Neuroendocrine System, Planning a Movement, Unconscious Action, and Mirror Neurons. Section 6 (Emotions and Feelings) includes: The Emotional Brain, Conscious Emotion, and Desire and Reward. Section 7 (The Social Brain) includes: Sex-Love-and Survival, Expression, The Self and Others, and The Moral Brain. Section 8 (Language and Communication) includes: Gestures and Body Language, The Origins of Language, The Language Areas, A Conversation, and Reading and Writing. Section 9 (Memory) includes: The Principles of Memory, The Memory Web, Laying down a Memory, Recall and Recognition, and Unusual Memory. Section 10 (Thinking) includes: Intelligence, Creativity and Humor, Belief and Superstition, and Cognitive Illusions. Section 11 (Consciousness) includes: What is Consciousness, Locating Consciousness, Attention and Consciousness, Altering Consciousness, Sleep and Dreams, Time, and The Self and Consciousness. Section 12 (The Individual Brain) includes: Nature and Nurture, Influencing the Brain, Personality, and Strange Brains. Section 13 (Development and Aging) includes: The Developing Brain, The Aging Brain, and The Brain of the Future. Section 14 (Diseases and Disorders) includes: The Disordered Brain, and Directory of Disorders. Clear, concise language adds to this book’s usability.



All rights are reserved. © The AIC 2013.
The American Institute of Chemists, Inc. does not necessarily endorse any of the facts or opinions expressed in the articles, book reviews, or advertisements appearing in The Chemist.

Web site designed and developed by Maxide Roson, LLC

The American Institute of Chemists, Inc.
315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2702.
Phone (215) 873-8224 | Fax: (215) 629-5224