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Rhythms of the Brain Hardcover – August 3, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0195301069 ISBN-10: 0195301064 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


"György Buzsáki's Rhythms of the Brain is an excellent compendium on the rapidly expanding research into the mechanisms and functions of neuronal synchronization. Buzsáki presents such synchronization as a binding glue that integrates many levels of neuroscientific investigation with one another and with neighboring disciplines...Buzsáki manages to elegantly integrate insights from physics, engineering, and cognitive psychology with contributions from cellular, systems, cognitive, and theoretical neuroscience."--Science

"This is definitely an intriguing book that provides a comprehensive review of current knowledge on brain rhythms...this book is worth the time."--Doody's

"In Rhythms of the Brain, György Buzsáki does a remarkable job of summarizing a vast body of literature on the topic...The book is a 'must read' for anyone interested in understanding the functioning of large and complex brain circuits."--Nature

"What makes this book so valuable is its range; Buzsáki has a worldly intellect, open to information from any discipline that provides insight, while insisting on a rigorous distinction between fact and baloney...Perhaps the greatest value of Rhythms of the Brain is that it provides a starting point for students and scientists who see the importance of this field and want to get a solid overview."--Nature Neuroscience

"In this entertaining monograph the author addresses issues related to the genesis of brain rhythms and their contribution to the "invisible operations of the brain"...one of the most thought-provoking and fun books in neuroscience that I have read in some time."--Mathematical Reviews

"Highly original exposition of a broad swathe of modern neuroscience. Indeed, it brings together so many apparently disparate strands, and levels on the reductionistic scale, that it deserves a must read score, especially for neuroscientists looking to get an up-to-date and challenging exposition of many of the big questions, even if they are not fundamentally interested in oscillations per se...If sharp wave ripples, associated with consummatory behavior in rodents, have the same connotations in humans, they too will likely occur in the readers brain as a reward for the attention this book deserves."--Neuron

"The book is beautifully written...This book is seriously recommended for those who truly wonder about the brain and its function."--Neuroscience

About the Author

György Buzsáki is a Board of Governors Professor of Neuroscience at Rutgers University. His primary research interests are in brain oscillations, sleep and memory, and with more than 200 papers published on these topics, he is among the top 250 most-cited neuroscientists. Dr. Buzsáki is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and he sits on the editorial boards of several leading neuroscience journals.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (August 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195301064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195301069
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.2 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,460,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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This is probably a really good book for laymen's reading.
Tong Tong
Overall goal of the book is to explain the neural synchronization and its role in coordinating various levels of brain mechanism and uniting them.
Bahar Rahsepar
A good popular science book will provide laypeople with an exciting perspective on the state of the art in a particular field.
Chris Chatham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Chris Chatham on December 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A good popular science book will provide laypeople with an exciting perspective on the state of the art in a particular field. But this comes at a price: typically such books are written from just a single theoretical perspective, glazing over or altogether ignoring details that might be considered controversial within the academic community. To understand these deeper issues, an interested layperson would have to trudge through academic textbooks, or for the most cutting-edge topics, delve into the often impenetrable peer-reviewed literature.

And then there are the absolute best popular science books. György Buzsáki's "Rhythms of the Brain" is of this latter variety. Not only does it provide a wide-ranging and readable introduction to neural oscillators, but every crucial argument is carefully footnoted with deeper explanations, some qualifications, and suggestions for additional reading.

"Rhythms of the Brain" begins with the premise that "structure defines function," and then outlines how the architectural principles of neural networks can give rise to neural oscillations. In the process, he meticulously covers topics like the complex, small-world, scale-free connectivity of cortex without resorting to complicated equations - the concepts are carefully grounded in real-world analogies and lay terms.

Buzsáki introduces several other topics that are usually found only in mathematically sophisticated academic works on the brain: for example, how "neural noise" can actually enhance processing through stochastic resonance and the 1/f or "pink noise" signature of EEG, mechanisms of "phase precession" and "phase reset" within nested oscillations, and the difference between relaxation and harmonic oscillators.
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Richard G. Petty on February 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
György Buzsáki's new book is superb.

One of the problems for people trying to understand some of the spectacular advances in science and medicine is that much of it has become not just complex, but highly specialized, with each discipline developing its own vocabulary. Many books are written for the cognoscenti and many others by professional writers trying to explain science in lay language. There are relatively few scientists working at the cutting edges of their fields who want - or in some cases are able - to communicate their findings to a broad audience.

This book is by an internationally recognized expert, a Professor at Rutgers who is amongst the 250 most cited neuroscientists in the world. He is passionate about his topic, literate, patient and humble. In this book he takes a complex topic - the dynamic function of the brain - and unlocks not just the secrets that he and others have uncovered, but you have the chance to look over his shoulder and understand why he has reached certain conclusions, while exposing some of the human side of the scientific enterprise. It is not all objectivity and cooperation, there is also the politics, bickering and suppression and omission of data that does not fit a pet model or theory.

As the title suggests, György Buzsáki's particular field of interest is brain oscillations: it has an extraordinary capacity for generating waves that organize its activity. We have known for centuries that there are cycles that control the rhythms of our hearts, lungs, metabolism and endocrine systems. But in recent years we have begun to suspect that the brain's constantly active rhythms, including its cycles of electrical activity, are essential to its "deepest and most general functions.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Acsády László István on March 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Rhythms of the Brain"

by Professor György Buzsáki,

(member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

There are many windows to the brain, many approaches to probe its secrets. However, a very few of them allow an in depth understanding of the most complex computational mechanisms which underlie our cognitive abilities. The approach chosen by Professor György Buzsáki in his latest book "Rhythms of the Brain" is to investigate the role of timing in governing neuronal activity. The choice is exceptionally fruitful, and sheds much new light on the emergent properties and collective behaviour of neuronal ensembles. The book is presently the most authoritative introduction to this very complex field of brain research.

In brief, the book tells that "brains are foretelling devices, and their predictive powers emerge from the various rhythms they perpetually generate". This briefing sets out the two main lines of thought recurring in "cycles" instead of chapters in the book. For the one it tells that instead of simply reacting to various kinds of input, the output of our brain is able to control its input. For the other, to do this, the brain is continuously engaged in generating various kinds of rhythmic activities, which can chunk the time and group neuronal activity into meaningful collective behaviours.

The book is outstanding in several respects. Buzsáki managed to find the fragile balance in styles and detail to be digestible to the lay person and to remain exciting to the super-specialist. Thanks to the nowadays all too rare single authorship, the line of thoughts are unbroken, and the chapters are linked together by a logic arching over the entire book.
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