Key concepts in neuroscience presented for the non-medical reader.
A fresh take on contemporary brain science, this book presents neuroscience―the scientific study of brain, mind, and behavior―in easy-to-understand ways with a focus on concepts of interest to all science readers. Rigorous and detailed enough to use as a textbook in a university or community college class, it is at the same time meant for any and all readers, clinicians and non-clinicians alike, interested in learning about the foundations of contemporary brain science. From molecules and cells to mind and consciousness, the known and the mysterious are presented in the context of the history of modern biology and with an eye toward better appreciating the beauty and growing public presence of brain science. 100 illustrations
“[Presti] has achieved success with this book. While it can be read for pleasure, it is also designed to be a textbook for college-level students. So, if you want to be challenged a bit in learning how we function, this could be a good book for you. . . . [A]n interesting and informative book.”
“[T]he historical material interwoven in the text is interesting, and Presti includes beautiful reproductions of drawings by Camillo Golgi, Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Andreas Vesalius, and Charles Darwin. . . . Recommended.”
“Presti has clearly distilled his years of experience in teaching neurobiology into producing such an engaging volume. . . . [A]n excellent introduction to neurobiology. . . [a] useful companion to a broad introductory course in neurobiology for undergraduate students.”
– The Quarterly Review of Biology
“Presti creates a sense of wonder and hope for the future of neuroscience and it is contagious throughout the book. It’s well worth the read.”
– Somatic Psychotherapy Today
“This book is a gem. It is a lucid survey of the whole majestic sweep of contemporary neuroscience, written for the non-medical reader. At the same time, it is sprinkled liberally with original insights that will provide much food for thought even for specialists. It will also make an excellent textbook for any introductory course in neuroscience.”
– V. S. Ramachandran, author of The Tell-Tale Brain
“Be prepared to be awe struck and endlessly inspired by reading this tour of the human mind and brain with legendary teacher and neuroscientist David Presti. As you learn about the great discoveries of neuroscience―the chemicals, genes, neurons, and brain structures that make us up―you will find answers to timeless questions. What are the origins of life? Why do humans take drugs? What are the emotions? What is consciousness? Who are we? There could be no better guidebook than this endlessly fascinating and important book.”
– Dacher Keltner, author of Born To Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life
About the Author
David E. Presti teaches neurobiology, psychology, and cognitive science at the University of California in Berkeley; worked for more than a decade in the clinical treatment of addiction at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in San Francisco; and teaches neuroscience to Tibetan monastics in India. He has doctorates in molecular biology and biophysics from Caltech, and in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon.