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The Human Brain Book Hardcover – August 31, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Hardcover, August 31, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Using computer-generated three-dimensional images, graphics, and clear explanatory text presented in brief sections, the follow-up to The Human Body Book (2007) examines each aspect of the brain’s structure and functions. Carter covers both the physiological and psychological aspects of the brain and more than 50 brain-related disorders as well as providing a comprehensive, layered brain atlas. Sections on brain function treat topics such as “Movement and Control,” “The Social Brain,” and “Memory.” A glossary provides definitions of medical and other terms, and an index aids navigation for readers looking for specific topics. A time line of investigation into the brain and a two-page spread on “Landmarks in Neuroscience” help readers put their newly gained knowledge into context. The highlight of the volume is the illustrations. Pages are full of color photographs, charts, diagrams, and other graphics, including specially commissioned brain scans. This is a valuable resource for any high-school, college, and public library collection. Libraries should be aware that it comes with a DVD. --Sara Marcus


"The Human Brain Book combines incredible brain images with fascinating neuroscientific findings." --Newsweek.com, October 1, 2009

"All 256 pages are chock full of amazing illustrations and facts, covering literally everything that your brain does or takes part in bodily function wise." --The Super Mom Blog, September 16, 2009

"This outstanding reference is filled with interesting detailed information about every possible aspect of the human brain." --Science & Children

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT; Har/Dvdr edition (August 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756654416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756654412
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 1 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I found too many errors in this book to give it five stars, but at the same time, it is put together so well and covers too much material to give it just three stars.

Here are the errors I was able to find:

*The diagram on page 58 mistakes an Internal globus pallidus for an External globus pallidus

*On page 60, it incorrectly states that the auditory cortex is represented by Brodmann areas 40 and 41 while it should be Brodmann areas 41 and 42.

*On page 115, the color coded projections of the cerebellar circuits to and from the pimary motor cortex are wrong.

*On page 116 it incorrectly stated that the red nucleus is in the superior colliculus. Furthermore, it incorrectly indicates that the pons is the inferior colliculus.

*On page 135, the superior temporal gyrus is called a superior temporal sulcus. The same error is made on page 142 as well.

These are very serious errors and no book on the brain should contain this many blatant errors. I know the book was not written by a neuroscientist, but whoever the neuroscientist was who reviewed her work did not do a very good job. The only other thing in this book is that I don't think the section on memory explains neuroplasticity very well. I've read quite a few other books written by neuroscientists such as Robert Sapolsky and Joseph LeDoux who do a much better job explaining this and use more concise diagrams.

The included DVD which shows brain scan images, the anatomy of the brain as well as the different Brodmann areas and a short video on how neurons fire is excellent.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Is it OK to get excited over a book about the brain? :)

When I ordered "The Human Brain Book" I assumed it was just an updated version of one of my favorite illustrated "brain books"---Rita Carter's expertly executed survey of the human brain titled "Mapping the Mind." I would have been happy with an updated version of "Mapping the Mind" that reflected recent brain research.

When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see that Ms. Carter had collaborated with DK, the creator of amazingly well photographed and illustrated educational books to produce one of the most visually informative books on the brain I have ever seen. The paragraph-sized entries and highly visual content of "The Human Brain Book" make it accessible to a wider age range than "Mapping the Mind"--which explores select topics on the brain with fewer illustrations but article-length commentary and depth.

Brain regions are made memorable by explaining the region with engaging examples of the types of behaviors, senses, emotions, cognitive, or other functions associated with that the area of the brain.

The large format and variety of photograph and image sizes reminded me of the wonderful Time Life Science series books that were popular a few decades ago. But so much better.

"The Human Brain Book" is a delight to browse--it's the kind of book that you can open to any page and find something engaging to explore.

And then there is the pleasant surprise of the interactive DVD-ROM . . .

Rita Carter and DK can be proud of creating an exceptional book. At less than $30, this is one the best values I have found on Amazon in a long time.
6 Comments 108 of 111 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I almost never pre-order a book, wanting to see the product before shelling out money, but in this case I bet on my enjoyment of Rita Carter's other books and I was NOT disappointed. Well-laid out with spectacular illustrations, Carter's new The Human Brain, is a wonderful addition to an extremely complicated and rapidly progressing field. While not detailed enough to use as an advanced textbook, I've already asked our library to order a few copies for the shelf and for the reserve desk so my students can benefit from an nicely integrated presentation of anatomy, physiology and other basic sciences with clinical disorders.
Comment 65 of 69 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
First, I have to admit to being a bit of a brain 'geek' these last few years as the information stemming from neuroscience continues to amaze. Depending on your needs, this book is a tremendous volume. Rita Carter (author of the excellent Mapping the Mind) provides an in-depth buffet of the history and findings about how our brains work, replete with full page MRI's and the like. THe book is laid out so that every two pages is a stand alone section which adheres to the usual layouts of books published by English publisher DK books. Each section is intersting, and often fascinating. If, however, you are looking for material recommending ways to utilize neuroscience for achievement (Eric Jensen, Jeffrey Schwartz, The Snaps Project, Norman Dodge, Sharon Begley, )or healing (My Stroke of Insight)you probably should look elsewhere. But, if you're like me, you'll get many enjoyable hours out of this book and its accompanying DVD)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review will assess the effectiveness and quality of Rita Carter's "The Human Brain Book" in describing the anatomy and function of the human brain. The book is a very illustrated introduction to the world of neuroscience. The book also included a DVD disk, but that component will not be included in this review.

Overall, the book does an excellent job of presenting detailed information in an easy to understand and digest way. The illustrations are wonderful tools in understanding the complex material, though the text does not get into the level of detail that it could. One must keep in mind that this is a cursory look at the whole system, how it works, what it does, what happens when things go wrong or don't function correctly, etc. To truly understand the mechanisms of the brain and all the interactions that occur, the reader would need to look for a textbook or research on the topic. I gave the book a rating of four stars because it easily and effectively accomplishes its goal of introducing users to the material, but it does pass over some important information and makes a few statements that are questionable considering current research.

The book is broken up into chapters that start with general information about the brain and body, moves to anatomy of the brain, then discusses the senses and how the brain interacts with the environment. Next, it covers the more abstract topics such as memory, thinking, and consciousness. The final couple of chapters involve development and diseases of the brain. This progression makes sense from the reader's perspective because it first teaches the general information that is necessary for understanding the later material.
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