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Neuroscience in the 21st Century


Welcome to the homepage of Neuroscience in the 21st Century.

Edited and authored by a wealth of international experts in neuroscience and related disciplines, the aim behind this key new resource is to offer medical students and graduate researchers around the world a comprehensive introduction and overview of modern neuroscience.

Neuroscience research is certain to prove a vital element in combating mental illness in its various incarnations, a strategic battleground in the future of medicine,  as the prevalence of mental disorders is becoming better understood each year. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are affected by mental, behavioral, neurological and substance use disorders. The World Health Organization estimated in 2002 that 154 million people globally suffer from depression and 25 million people from schizophrenia; 91 million people are affected by alcohol use disorders and 15 million by drug use disorders. A more recent WHO report shows that 50 million people suffer from epilepsy and 24 million from Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Because neuroscience takes the etiology of disease—the complex interplay between biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors—as its object of inquiry, it is increasingly valuable in understanding an array of medical conditions. A recent report by the United States’ Surgeon General cites several such diseases: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, early-onset depression, autism, attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, anorexia nervosa, and panic disorder, among many others. Not only is this volume a boon to those wishing to understand the future of neuroscience, it also aims to encourage the initiation of neuroscience programs in developing countries, featuring as it does an appendix full of advice on how to develop such programs.  With broad coverage of both basic science and clinical issues, comprising 106 chapters from a diversity of international authors and including complementary video components, Neuroscience in the 21st Century will serve as a comprehensive resource to students and researchers alike.

Donald W. Pfaff

(Editor in Chief)

  1. Water, Ions, Membranes, Pumps, and Transporters
  2. Voltage-Gated Ion Channels
  3. Axonal Transport
  4. Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors
  5. Trophic Factors: Neurotrophic Factors
  6. Membrane Potentials
  7. Adult Neurogenesis
  8. Dendrites: A Key Structural Element of Neurons
  9. Dendritic Function
  10. Hormone Effects on Behavior
  11. Cell Biology of the Synapse
  12. Molecular Regulation of Synaptic Release
  13. Ischemic Stroke: Basic Pathophysiology and Clinical Implication
  14. The Postsynaptic Density
  15. Gap Junctions, Electric Synapses
  16. Glial Cells
  17. Immune System Cells
  18. Psychoneuroimmune Phenomena: Neuroimmune Interactions
  19. Retina: Neuroanatomy and Physiology
  20. The Superior Colliculus and Visual Thalamus
  21. Cortical Processing of Visual Signals
  22. Audition: Hearing and Deafness
  23. Somatosensation: End Organs for Tactile Sensation
  24. Taste
  25. Olfaction
  26. Visuomotor Integration
  27. Vestibular Inputs: The Vestibular System
  28. Kinesthetic Inputs
  29. Pain
  30. Spinal Motoneurons
  31. Spinal Interneurons
  32. Systems Descending from the Brainstem: Basic Principles
  33. Systems Descending from the Brainstem: Functional Recovery Following Damage
  34. Basal Ganglia: Basic Principles
  35. Dystonia
  36. Cerebellum: Anatomy and Function
  37. The Cerebellum: Eye Movements
  38. Cortical Motor Control
  39. Locomotion: Circuits and Physiology
  40. Posture
  41. Basic Principles of Nervous System Organization
  42. Frontal Cortex
  43. Limbic Forebrain: The Functional Neuroanatomy of Emotion and Hedonic Processing
  44. Hypothalamus
  45. Autonomic Nervous Systems
  46. Respiration
  47. Spinal Reflexes
  48. Transmitters and Peptides: Basic Principles
  49. Transmitter and Peptide Receptors: Basic Principles
  50. Opioid Peptides
  51. Brain Energy Metabolism
  52. Blood Brain Barrier
  53. Brain Control Over Pituitary Gland Hormones
  54. Critical Periods During Development: Hormonal Influences on Neurobehavioral Transitions Across the Life Span
  55. Mechanisms of Homeostatically Regulated Behaviors
  56. Mechanisms of Behaviors Related to Reproduction
  57. Seasonal Rhythms in Behavior
  58. Circadian Physiology
  59. The Suprachiasmatic Nucleus and the Circadian Timekeeping System of the Body
  60. Sleep Regulation and Insomnia
  61. Genomic Imprinting and Brain Function
  62. Epigenetic Mechanisms: DNA Methylation and Histone Protein Modification
  63. Stress Research: Past, Present, and Future
  64. Fear
  65. Aggression
  66. Emotions Studied by Imaging of the Human Brain: The Somatic and Emotional Motor Systems
  67. Parental Behavior
  68. Sexual Behavior
  69. Social Behavior
  70. Elementary CNS Arousal
  71. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
  72. Cognitive Functions as Revealed by Imaging of the Human Brain
  73. Aging of the Brain
  74. Computational Neuroscience of Synapses and Neurons
  75. Computational Neuroscience of Neuronal Networks
  76. Biological Modeling
  77. Prader-Willi and Angelman Syndromes
  78. Fragile X-Associated Disorders
  79. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  80. Autism
  81. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia
  82. Sleep Disorders
  83. Traumatic Brain Damage
  84. Spinal Cord Damage
  85. Non-migrainous Headache
  86. Signal Transduction-Dependent Channels
  87. Migraine
  88. Central Mechanisms of Pain Suppression
  89. Multiple Sclerosis
  90. Myasthenia Gravis
  91. Infections of the Nervous System
  92. Psychostimulants and Addiction
  93. Neurobiology of Alcohol Addiction
  94. Internet Addiction
  95. Abuse of Performance-Enhancing Drugs
  96. Food Addiction
  97. Motor Neuron Disease: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  98. Parkinson's Disease
  99. Huntington's Disease
  100. Problems During Aging (Alzheimer's and Others)
  101. Sexual Differentiation of the Human Brain in Relation to Gender-Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Neuropsychiatric Disorders
  102. Depressive Disorders
  103. The Neurobiology of Bipolar Disorder
  104. Schizophrenia
  105. Appendix: Seven Steps to Setting Up a Neuroscience Program in a Developing Country
  106. Stem Cells: Neural Stem Cells in Cerebral Cortex Development