Table of contents
About this book
The human brain is the inner universe through which all external events are perceived. That fact alone should ensure that neuroscience will eventually receive top priority in the list of human endeavors. The brain represents the pinnacle of sophistication in the realm of living systems. Yet it is an imperfect organ, whose failures in disease processes lead to the occupation of more than half of all hospital beds and whose variable performance in the healthy state contributes in undetermined degree to the world's social problems. Every significant advance in our understanding of the brain has yielded enormous practical dividends. There is every reason to believe the future holds even greater promise. It can be said that brain research took root near the end of the last century when Ram6n y Cajal proved beyond doubt that the neuron is the basic functioning unit of the brain and Sherrington revealed its method of transmitting impulses. But it is only in the past two decades that neuroscience has been established as a recognized discipline where the anatomical, physiological, and chemical aspects of neuronal function are treated in a unified fashion. It can be anticipated that this logical advance'will allow brain research to reach new levels of sophistication. Already it has resulted in the establishment of graduate programs at dozens of universities, and the found ing of numerous journals devoted to reports of interdisciplinary research on the brain.
biology brain neurobiology neuroscience