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Brain: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 8. Dezember 2005


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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 136 Seiten
  • Verlag: Oxford University Press (8. Dezember 2005)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0192853929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192853929
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 17,3 x 1,5 x 10,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 18.215 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

'O'Shea writes with real enthusiasm.' The Guardian

Synopsis

How does the brain work? How different is a human brain from other creatures' brains? Is the human brain still evolving? In this fascinating book, Michael O'Shea provides a non-technical introduction to the main issues and findings in current brain research, and gives a sense of how neuroscience addresses questions about the relationship between the brain and the mind. Chapters tackle subjects such as brain processes, perception, memory, motor control and the causes of 'altered mental states'. A final section discusses possible future developments in neuroscience, touching on artificial intelligence, gene therapy, the importance of the Human Genome Project, drugs by design, and transplants.

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In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
Einleitungssatz
Think for a few moments about a very special machine, your brain - an organ of just 1.2 kg, containing one hundred billion nerve cells, none of which alone has any idea who or what you are. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis | Rückseite
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen

4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Dr. Bojan Tunguz am 5. April 2011
Format: Taschenbuch
This is one of the best books in the VSI series, and I've read well over thirty by now. It gives a very good introduction to the basic neuroanatomy of the brain, and explains many important brain functions. The book is intended for laypeople, but even those (like me) who are familiar with the subject can benefit from reading it. Oftentimes neuroscience textbook overwhelm with details, and it is sometimes hard to see the forest from the trees. This book provides a good bird's eye perspective on the field, and its many references and recommended books make it a valuable reference. Very importantly, the book is up to date in some of the more recent discoveries, including some current controversies like grandma neuron, the idea that the brain has a neuron devoted just for recognizing each family member.

A good, well written and well organized book. I highly recommend it.
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Von Anka am 18. Februar 2014
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The human brain is said to be the most complex organisation form of mattern in the universe known to man – certainly, to write a “very short introduction” about it that is both accurate and accessible would be no small achievement. This book, however, delivers a far-ranging and insightful overview of the brain on 124 pages. It covers the neuron (nerve cell) as functional unit of the nervous system as well as neuronal molecular physiology, brain evolution, memory, historical aspects of brain studies, methods of brain analysis, functional imaging, and brain-computer interfaces in neurotechnology in an engaging style that does not omit detail for clarity but rather highlights the relevant concepts. Intriguing details are included on the mechanism of memory formation, nerve cell signalling, and the processing of sensory information. The chapters go through different scales of functional organisation, from the nerve cell to communication between brain cells to brain networks and brain evolution. All of this is presented with scientific accuracy. I actually found myself re-reading the entire book.

Probably the most interesting of the lot is the final chapter on the “broken brain”, discussing possible interventions on neurodegenerative disease (like Parkinson’s disease) and nervous system damages after injuries, including neuroprothesis to compensate for lost functions. Discussion of the naturally occuring regeneration in the nervous system is also included, which is restricted to the peripheral nervous system, while in case of damage to the central nervous system (like the spinal cord), nerve cells cannot be reorganised to compensate after injury or trauma.

While brain anatomy is briefly summarised (p.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 Rezensionen
28 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A brainy introduction, but not picture perfect 16. September 2007
Von Peter Reeve - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
O'Shea's book provides a very broad overview of the structure and function of the most complex object known to Man. The biochemical and physical interactions of neurons, the formation of memory, brain-machine interaction, and a range of other topics, are all touched upon in a readable and informative manner, pitched at the level of an intelligent beginner, and requiring just an elementary grasp of physics and chemistry. The book has one significant shortcoming: Most of the illustrations are copied from other publications, and are a poor match with the text. For example, on page 45 there is a diagram illustrating avoidance behavior in unicellular animals, a simple concept not requiring a diagram, let alone one that occupies almost an entire page and contains labels that are not referenced in the text. Yet when we come to the discussion of the large-scale structure of the human brain, in Chapter 4, which cries out for a detailed diagram, there is none. I was reduced to finding one online, to refer to as I read the text. I agonized long and hard about whether to deduct a star from the rating, because I do recommend this book, but in the end I decided I had to. I hope OUP reissue it with more relevant illustrations.
40 von 44 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A great introduction 26. Mai 2006
Von Dr. Bojan Tunguz - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This is one of the best books in the VSI series, and I've read well over thirty by now. It gives a very good introduction to the basic neuroanatomy of the brain, and explains many important brain functions. The book is intended for laypeople, but even those (like me) who are familiar with the subject can benefit from reading it. Oftentimes neuroscience textbook overwhelm with details, and it is sometimes hard to see the forest from the trees. This book provides a good bird's eye perspective on the field, and its many references and recommended books make it a valuable reference. Very importantly, the book is up to date in some of the more recent discoveries, including some current controversies like grandma neuron, the idea that the brain has a neuron devoted just for recognizing each family member.

A good, well written and well organized book. I highly recommend it.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
vibrant, clear and stimulating 15. April 2013
Von Nigel Kirk - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
In April 2013, the author of this Very Short Introduction, Michael O'Shea, pulled together a very swish Instant Expert feature on the human brain for the magazine New Scientist. I picked up this VSI because of the quality of the magazine feature and was not disappointed.

O'Shea's introduction is important in two ways: it scopes what a 127 page book can cover of such an enormous topic, and it demonstrates O'Shea's exposition style with a stimulating review of the process of reading. The book is structured with an historical perspective, descriptions of electrical and chemical signaling mechanisms (including a background on brain imaging tools), nervous system evolution, response to sensations and perceptions, and explanations of the basic mechanisms of short and long term memory. O'Shea's area of expertise comes to the fore in a brief discussion of brain/computer interfaces and artificial nervous networks. Citations are not provided although the Further Reading is useful if now a little dated.

Stand out aspects of this book are O'Shea's explanations of neural signaling. As a reader with a biology background, I found his explanations unusually fresh and intelligible; the chapter on neural evolution offers a sound context for the other information on brain structure and function; and the chapter on perception gives very clear and insightful explanations and examples, for instance on the interplay between the eyes and the lateral geniculate nuclei in the deceptively simple art of depth perception. Memory mechanisms are explained concisely and, again, with a rare clarity. I have generally found Oxford's VSI series to be well directed, either attempting a rounded description of a topic or a more incisive exploration of specific aspects. The Brain, A Very Short Introduction is a standout, combining both these approaches in a vibrant and clear exposition.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Surprisingly comprehensive and up to dated 15. Januar 2012
Von Cronos - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book, part of the Very Short Introduction Series (Oxford University Press), surprised me by its comprehensiveness despite its 144 pages. It is also remarkably up to dated and reads smooth and accessibly. The book is organized along 8 chapters presenting, a logic sequence, the main aspects of the brain.

The first important fact to take into account about this book is that it is about the brain, not the mind or even the relationship brain and mind. So, it focuses on descriptions of the brain structure and sensory aspects, not on mind-related issues such as behavior, consciousness, and personality. The book starts by describing what is happening as one reads the lines of a text, and introduces them main aspects of brain research in the process. The second chapter provides a very interesting historical review, with emphasis on the Golgi/Cajal findings (i.e. reticular against network models). Chapter 3 is dedicated to brain signalling, covering in an engaging, comprehensive and yet accessible way the basic theory of neuronal transmission. Evolution and development are covered in Chapter 4, and sensation, perception and action in Chapter 5. The grandmother/sparse coding of information in the brain is treated with great clarity and insight. Chapter 6 covers the all important aspect of memory, identifying and characterizing the several types of memories and how and where they take place. The explanation of Kandel's seminal findings is very accessible and illustrates the impressive didactic abilities of the author. Chapter 7, which covers how the brain can be enhanced and repaired, proved to be remarkably up to dated and interestingly written. Chapter 8 concludes the book.

All in all, I found a pleasure reading this book because of its clarity, objectivity, and engaging style. The author manages to provide a surprisingly up to dated and comprehensive account of the state of the art in brain research despite its 144 pages. The sequence of the presentation is logical, the writing is effective and never boring, and the case-examples are very well-chosen. Suggestions for further reading are also to be found as an appendix. All in all, a highly recommended no-nonsense book that is a must for those interesting to get quickly acquainted with this most surprising and complex structures that is the human brain.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A little bit too technical for an intro 15. November 2012
Von Greg Hovanesian - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
After reading the reviews on this page, I was excited to read a book that would provide a "layman" like myself an easy introduction to the workings and ways of the brain. But I was disappointed with what I read. The first two chapters were great, and truly were introductory and easy to read: the first was a basic introduction to the brain, and the second provided reviewed the history of brain research through the ages. Starting with Chapter 3, however, the book became overally technical and difficult to read. The Chapter on memory was interesting, and overall I did learn things, but as a "layman", I found myself very confused and overwhelmed as I struggled to make it through what I found to be a very 'Non-Introductory' introduction.
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