The third edition of The Synaptic Organization of the Brain continues the tradition of earlier editions in focusing on the principles underlying the organization of neurons and synapses into functional circuits within the best-studied regions of the brain: autonomic ganglia, spinal cord, olfactory bulb, retina, cerebellum, thalamus, basal ganglia, olfactory cortex, hippocampus, and neocortex. To ensure authoritative coverage of each area, the chapters have been revised by leading researchers. Nevertheless, as in past editions, each chapter follows the same format: neural elements, synaptic connections, basic circuits, physiological properties, neurotransmitters, and dendritic properties. In addition, each chapter now has a concluding section which discusses functional implications. This organization gives a logical structure to the description of each region, and greatly facilitates comparisons between regions and identification of common principles. Highlights include the first comprehensive attempt to incorporate intrinsic excitable membrane properties into neural circuits throughout the brain, the latest experimental results from patch recordings, brain slices, intracellular labelling, and 3-D reconstructions of neurons and connections. The book also provides summaries of neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, second-messengers and ligand-and voltage-gated membrane channels for each brain region. Up-to-date information on mechanisms underlying development and plasticity in brain circuits is also included as are computer methods for modeling neurons and circuits as a first step toward a "biophysics of neural computation."
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Gordon M. Shepherd, Professor of Neuroscience and Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine.Review:
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