Flip through this book – Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience and you’ll see that its pages are chock-full of facts and applications—just a sampling gleaned from a vast supply that grows too fast for any of us to keep up with and that becomes obsolete just as fast.

But sifting through those facts and reporting them is neither the most difficult nor the most important function of a good textbook. A greater challenge is that most students fail to share their instructors’ infatuation with learning; perhaps they lack the genes, or the parental role models, or just the idea that learning can be fun. At any rate, they can find a text like this intimidating, and it is the textbook’s role to change their minds. Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience

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The colorful illustrations, case studies, and research vignettes may capture students’ interest, but sparking interest alone is not enough. That’s why we’ve adopted a big-picture approach in writing the text, one that marshals facts into explanations and discards the ones left standing around with nothing to do. When you put facts to work that way, you begin to see students look up and say, “That makes sense,” or “I’ve always wondered about that, but I never thought of it that way,” or “Now I understand what was going on with Uncle Edgar Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience

We believe education has the capacity to make a person healthy, happy, and productive, and it makes a society strong. Education realizes that promise when it leads people to inquire and to question, when they learn how to learn. When 45% of the public believes in ghosts, and politics has become a game played by shouting the loudest or telling the most convincing lie, education more than ever needs to teach young people to ask, “Where is the evidence?” and “Is that the only possible interpretation?”

To those who would teach and those who would learn, this book Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience –is for you.

To the Student

Brain & Behavior is our attempt to reach out to students, to beckon them into the fascinating world of behavioral neuroscience. These are exceptionally exciting times, comparable in many ways to the renaissance that thrust Europe from the Middle Ages into the modern world. According to the American neurologist Stanley B. Prusiner,

Neuroscience is by far the most exciting branch of science because the brain is the most fascinating object in the universe. Every human brain is different—the brain makes each human unique and defines who he or she is.

To the Instructor

When Bob wrote the first edition of Brain & Behavior, he had one goal: to entice students into the adventure of behavioral neuroscience. There were other good texts out there, but they read as though they were written for students preparing for further neuroscience courses in graduate school. Those students will find this book Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience adequately challenging, but Bob wrote Brain & Behavior so that anyone interested in behavior, including the newly declared sophomore major or the curious student who has wandered over from the history department, can have the deeper understanding that comes from a biological perspective as they take other courses in psychology.

New in the Fifth Edition 2018

It has been just three years since publication of the fourth edition of Brain & Behavior, but that short time has witnessed unprecedented activity in the neurosciences. We (founding author Bob Garrett and new author Gerald Hough) have reviewed thousands of research articles to ensure that the fifth edition provides students with the most up-to-date coverage of behavioral neuroscience possible. We have undertaken the most ambitious revision of Brain & Behavior since the second edition. We have updated more than 300 references, added 30 new terms, revised more than 50 illustrations, freshened the overall look of the text, and polished its presentation. We completely rewrote several sections, not only to bring them up to date but also to provide better organization and clarity and to shift focus to the most significant aspects. We have, for example, added optogenetics as one of the research techniques in Chapter 4; recast the Chapter 5 discussion of reward, brain plasticity, and learning in addiction; in Chapter 8 developed recent thinking that aggression depends on both testosterone-to-cortisol ratio and the balance of activity among the hypothalamus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex; revised the discussion of long-term potentiation in Chapter 12 to better emphasize the roles of dopamine, synaptic proteins, and neurogenesis; reconceptualized Chapter 14 to bring the discussion of psy chological disorders into line with the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5); and revised the final chapter to reflect current understanding of the sleep and waking circuits. To support these changes, we replaced all the In the News features, updated the Applications, and added a new feature, Research Spotlight, to highlight selected recent developments. In addition, we updated the online material and added new animations to better explain difficult concepts.Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience

In recent years behavioral neuroscience has been dominated by two areas of research, and both continue to gain significance in explaining behavior. The first of these is genetics. New gene associations continue to be discovered, for example, linking autism spectrum disorder to genes for GABA and oxytocin receptors and genes concerned with the formation of synaptic proteins. At the same time, intelligence, schizophrenia, Down syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease are yielding additional secrets as researchers shift their attention to de novo mutations, copy number variations, and epigenetic influences. Also on the genetic front, the CRISPR technique of gene editing (the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 2015 breakthrough of the year) is showing great promise for medicine while generating increased concerns about modifying the human gene line. Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience

The second research area, involving neural connectivity and networks, is continuing to reveal how the brain works and, in the case of disorders, how it fails to work. For example, we are beginning to appreciate the role of the salience network in consciousness, by detecting conditions that require attention and switching between the default mode network and the executive network. Other recent studies have found decreased connectivity in the cortex, corpus callosum, and thalamus in bipolar disorder, and both decreased and increased connectivity in different brain areas in depression. Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience

At the same time, we are keenly aware of the need to translate research findings into applications whenever possible. Newly developing treatments featured in the text include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and memory-inhibiting drugs to fight addiction; and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with nerve growth factor, brain-growth neurotrophic factor, and the drug aducanumab, which are in phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3 clinical trials, respectively. We also applaud the good news in two recent reports that prevalence of autism spectrum disorder appears to have leveled off and the risk for Alzheimer’s disease has declined in several countries, including the United Kingdom (by 20%) and the United States (by 26%).

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