Customer Reviews: From Neuron to Brain, Fifth Edition
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon March 17, 2014
When Stephen Kuffler and John Nicholls wrote the first edition of FROM NEURON TO BRAIN, published in 1976, it was a landmark text that belonged on the shelf of every neurophysiologist. It was a great piece of work - readable, elegant and relatively compact. The current edition, the 5th, is, alas, completely re-written and is a greatly expanded and far less impressive text than the first edition. Rather than concentrating most of its pages on basic neurophysiology, the 5th edition attempts to be a more general neuroscience text, covering considerably more pharmacology, systems neuroscience and behavior than the original.

The inclusion of the latter is not bad, but in this edition, that lists 6 authors on the cover, I think it it is a case of "Too many cooks spoil the broth." The organization of the chapters, particularly in the first half of the book is all over the place. Not only that, within single chapters there are far too many references, both forward and backward, to explanations in other chapters in the book. In various places, there is either too much or too little detail. Some of the figure legends will be next to impossible for anyone other than an experienced neuroscientist to understand (e.g., Fig. 14.6). One gets the feeling that there was no one person who's job it was to read the entire book in sequence and smooth out the irregularities and contiguity problems. In general, the text has been simplified compared to the Kuffler and Nicholls original, and I cannot imagine actually following the sequence of chapters as presently organized in either a graduate or undergraduate general neuroscience course or a neurophysiology course

Whereas I use earlier editions as core readings for an advanced graduate level course called "Cellular Neurophysiology", there is nothing in this current edition that is worth assigning instead of the chapters in the earlier editions. The book still contains a wealth of excellent information on neuroscience, but I am not sure what the target audience is. It does not contain enough specifics for a graduate level neurophysiology course. For that I would refer the reader to FOUNDATIONS OF CELLULAR NEUROPHYSIOLOGY by Johnston and Wu, and/or THE SYNAPTIC ORGANIZATION OF THE BRAIN by Shepherd and/or IONIC CHANNELS OF EXCITABLE MEMBRANES by Hille. Each of these texts differs greatly in style, but each gives the reader much more detailed information.

J.M. Tepper

ps (11/13/14) I edited the review today, after using the text for the first semester of our year-long Foundations course required of all first year students. I added some more specific complaints and reduced my rating from 3 stars to 2 stars.
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on July 22, 2012
As an undergraduate neuroscience student, I prefer this textbook to any other neuroscience book I've read. Each section is well-written, easy to understand, and full of connections to classic studies and modern applications. A great purchase whether the book is required for class or just intended for pleasure reading.
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on December 29, 2012
I'm a physics undergraduate student who became interested in neuroscience. I wanted an introductory textbook on the subject to prepare myself for a thesis work in biophysics. I've really enjoyed this book. Its style makes it ideal for independent study.
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on November 12, 2013
This book is much more detailed than any of my courses have been so far as an undergrad. However, I bought this book rather than buying a pdf/ebook because I heard great things about it. I reference it whenever I can because of how in depth it explains it. I read the book and felt like I understood the material more than my peers in my classes because of how it explained the topics. It is one of the best neuroscience books I have come across.
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on April 17, 2014
This is a very good book, it contains almost everything and in nutshell... tones of illustrations, graphs, pictures... answers and questions... a must have book for those who are interested in this area !!!
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on May 4, 2012
I love this book. It gives helpful factoids by briefly describing interesting studies. Great introductory learning tool: highly recommend.
I write my notes from multiple different neuroscience classes in this book.
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on May 17, 2015
This was required reading for my Physiological Psychology course. It provides good information, but is rather hard to read and goes very far in depth for an intro to neuro course.
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on March 21, 2016
Very straight forward and engaging. Perhaps my favorite college textbook!
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on September 17, 2015
Neuroscientist Grad Student Great book for starters to the field.
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on January 15, 2015
My favourite neuroscience book! I do recommend it!
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