Creating Modern Neuroscience: The Revolutionary 1950s

Hardcover | November 11, 2009

byGordon M. Shepherd

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For modern scientists, history often starts with last week's journals and is regarded as largely a quaint interest compared with the advances of today. However, this book makes the case that, measured by major advances, the greatest decade in the history of brain studies was mid-twentiethcentury, especially the 1950s. The first to focus on worldwide contributions in this period, the book ranges through dozens of astonishing discoveries at all levels of the brain, from DNA (Watson and Crick), through growth factors (Hamburger and Levi-Montalcini), excitability (Hodgkin and Huxley),synapses (Katz and Eccles), dopamine and Parkinson's (Carlsson), visual processing (Hartline and Kuffler), the cortical column (Mountcastle), reticular activating system (Morruzzi and Magoun) and REM sleep (Aserinsky), to stress (Selye), learning (Hebb) and memory (HM and Milner). The clinicalfields are also covered, from Cushing and Penfield, psychosurgery and brain energy metabolism (Kety), to most of the major psychoactive drugs in use today (beginning with Delay and Deniker), and much more. The material has been the basis for a highly successful advanced undergraduate and graduate course at Yale, with the classic papers organized and accessible on the web. There is interest for a wide range of readers, academic, and lay because there is a focus on the creative process itself, onunderstanding how the combination of unique personalities, innovative hypotheses, and new methods led to the advances. Insight is given into this process through describing the struggles between male and female, student and mentor, academic and private sector, and the roles of chance andpersistence. The book thus provides a new multidisciplinary understanding of the revolution that created the modern field of neuroscience and set the bar for judging current and future advances.

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For modern scientists, history often starts with last week's journals and is regarded as largely a quaint interest compared with the advances of today. However, this book makes the case that, measured by major advances, the greatest decade in the history of brain studies was mid-twentiethcentury, especially the 1950s. The first to focu...

Gordon M. Shepherd is Professor of Neuroscience and Neurobiology at Yale University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 5.98 × 9.29 × 0.91 inPublished:November 11, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195391500

ISBN - 13:9780195391503

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Introduction: Why Study History? Why the 1940s and the 1950s?2. Genes: Starting with DNA3. Signaling Molecules: The First Growth Factor4. The First Neurotransmitters in the Brain5. Cell Biology and the Synapse6. Physiology: The Action Potential7. Phsyiology: Synaptic Potentials and Receptor Potentials8. Functional Organization of Neurons and Dendrites9. Neural Circuits: Spinal Cord, Retina, Invertebrate Systems10. Neural Circuits: Cortical Columns and Cortical Processing11. Neural Systems: The Neural Basis of Behavior12. Learning and Memory: Donald Hebb, Brenda Milner, and HM13. Neurology: Foundations of Brain Imaging14. Neurosurgery: From Cushing to Penfield15. Neuropsychiatry: The Breakthrough in Psychopharmacology16. Theoretical Neuroscience: The Brain as a Computer and the Computer as a BrainReferencesLinksNotesIndex