[Comp-neuro] Towards a Theoretical Neuroscience

Andrew Coward andrew.coward at anu.edu.au
Wed Oct 2 16:27:16 CEST 2013

The book “Towards a Theoretical Neuroscience: from Cell Chemistry to Cognition” has just been published by Springer. This book is Volume 8 in the Springer Series in Cognitive and Neural Systems. The Springer web site is http://www.springer.com/biomed/book/978-94-007-7106-2

This book provides an overview of current knowledge of human cognition, neuroanatomy, neuron physiology, and neurochemistry with extensive references to the original literature. It then goes on to describe how natural selection pressures have constrained the brain into forms in which different types of information processes are performed by major anatomical structures such as cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, basal ganglia, thalamus, hypothalamus, basal forebrain and cerebellum. More detailed anatomical structures and neurons perform more detailed information processes making up the processes performed by major structures. Neurochemical processes implement yet more detailed information processes that make up higher level processes.

This hierarchy of information processing makes it possible to describe higher cognitive phenomena such as semantic, episodic, procedural, working and prospective memory and the succession of mental images called the stream of consciousness in terms of combinations of information processes in different major anatomical structures, larger combinations of more detailed information processes in more detailed structures, down to very large numbers of very detailed processes performed by neurochemistry.

The book therefore bridges the gap between psychology and the physical neurosciences and makes it possible to understand complex cognitive phenomena in terms of anatomy, physiology and neurochemistry.

For more information see Springer web site http://www.springer.com/biomed/book/978-94-007-7106-2
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