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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. Axonal Transport
  3. Voltage-Gated Ion Channels
  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. Cell Biology of the Synapse
  11. Molecular Regulation of Synaptic Release
  12. The Postsynaptic Density
  13. Gap Junctions, Electric Synapses
  14. Glial Cells
  15. Immune System Cells
  16. Psychoneuroimmune Phenomena: Neuroimmune Interactions
  17. Retina: Neuroanatomy and Physiology
  18. The Superior Colliculus and Visual Thalamus
  19. Cortical Processing of Visual Signals
  20. Audition: Hearing and Deafness
  21. Somatosensation: End Organs for Tactile Sensation
  22. Taste
  23. Olfaction
  24. Visuomotor Integration
  25. Vestibular Inputs: The Vestibular System
  26. Kinesthetic Inputs
  27. Pain
  28. Spinal Motoneurons
  29. Spinal Interneurons
  30. Systems Descending from the Brainstem: Basic Principles
  31. Systems Descending from the Brainstem: Functional Recovery Following Damage
  32. Basal Ganglia: Basic Principles
  33. Dystonia
  34. Cerebellum: Anatomy and Function
  35. The Cerebellum: Eye Movements
  36. Cortical Motor Control
  37. Locomotion: Circuits and Physiology
  38. Posture
  39. Basic Principles of Nervous System Organization
  40. Frontal Cortex
  41. Limbic Forebrain: The Functional Neuroanatomy of Emotion and Hedonic Processing
  42. Hypothalamus
  43. Autonomic Nervous Systems
  44. Respiration
  45. Spinal Reflexes
  46. Transmitters and Peptides: Basic Principles
  47. Transmitter and Peptide Receptors: Basic Principles
  48. Opioid Peptides
  49. Brain Energy Metabolism
  50. Blood Brain Barrier
  51. Brain Control Over Pituitary Gland Hormones
  52. Hormone Effects on Behavior
  53. Critical Periods During Development: Hormonal Influences on Neurobehavioral Transitions Across the Life Span
  54. Mechanisms of Homeostatically Regulated Behaviors
  55. Mechanisms of Behaviors Related to Reproduction
  56. Seasonal Rhythms in Behavior
  57. Circadian Physiology
  58. The Suprachiasmatic Nucleus and the Circadian Timekeeping System of the Body
  59. Sleep Regulation and Insomnia
  60. Genomic Imprinting and Brain Function
  61. Epigenetic Mechanisms: DNA Methylation and Histone Protein Modification
  62. Stress Research: Past, Present, and Future
  63. Fear
  64. Aggression
  65. Emotions Studied by Imaging of the Human Brain: The Somatic and Emotional Motor Systems
  66. Parental Behavior
  67. Sexual Behavior
  68. Social Behavior
  69. Elementary CNS Arousal
  70. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
  71. Cognitive Functions as Revealed by Imaging of the Human Brain
  72. Aging of the Brain
  73. Computational Neuroscience of Synapses and Neurons
  74. Computational Neuroscience of Neuronal Networks
  75. Biological Modeling
  76. Prader-Willi and Angelman Syndromes
  77. Fragile X-Associated Disorders
  78. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  79. Autism
  80. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia
  81. Sleep Disorders
  82. Traumatic Brain Damage
  83. Spinal Cord Damage
  84. Ischemic Stroke: Basic Pathophysiology and Clinical Implication
  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