The Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (Hardcover)


Second hand – very good condition – first edition (now in 3rd ed) from 2008 but is still a good reference for basic neurobiology.



To understand how the brain learns and remembers requires an integration of psychological concepts and behavioral methods with mechanisms of synaptic plasticity systems and systems neuroscience. The Neurobiology of Learning and Memory is a new undergraduate textbook that provides a synthesis of this interdisciplinary field. Each chapter makes the key concepts transparent and accessible to a reader with a minimal background in either neurobiology or psychology and is extensively illustrated with full-color photographs and line art depicting important concepts and experimental data. The first section of the book is organized around the central ideas that synapses are plastic and can be modified by experience and that the synapse is the basic unit of information storage. It introduces students to the long-term potentiation methodology used to study how synapses are modified, the concepts of post-translation processes, genomic signaling processes, local protein synthesis and synaptic tagging, and how they contribute to strengthening synapses. It emphasizes the various ways calcium regulates processes that strengthen synapses and ends with a discussion on the structure of dendritic spines and how changes in the spine s structure contribute to its function and stability. The second section builds on this foundation to show how molecules and cellular processes that have been identified from studies of synaptic plasticity also participate in the making of memories. It features a discussion of the basic conceptual issues researchers face in trying to relate memory to molecules and describes some of the behavioral and neurobiological methods that are used. This section also introduces the concept of memory modulation and discusses the fate of retrieved memories and how they can be modified. The final section of the book is organized around the multiple memory systems view that different neural systems have evolved to store the content contained in our experience. It features discussion of the medial-temporal hippocampal system that supports episodic memory, the concept of systems consolidation, and its relationship to Ribot s law that memories become resistant to disruption as they age. The cortico-striatal system and its relationship to what are called behavioral actions and habits is described, and this section ends with a discussion of neural systems involved in the acquisition and removal of emotional memories.