Behavioral Neurobiology: The Cellular Organization of Natural Behavior

Thomas J. Carew, University of California, Irvine
Thomas J. Carew, University of California, Irvine

Behavioral Neurobiology: The Cellular Organization of Natural Behavior

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Description

Behavioral Neurobiology provides a novel treatment of the neural basis of behavior. The pedagogical premise of the book is that general insights into the neuronal organization of behavior can be gained by examining neural solutions that have evolved in animals to solve problems encountered in their particular environmental niches. Therefore, rather than organizing the chapters around general themes, such as "Motor...

Behavioral Neurobiology provides a novel treatment of the neural basis of behavior. The pedagogical premise of the book is that general insights into the neuronal organization of behavior can be gained by examining neural solutions that have evolved in animals to solve problems encountered in their particular environmental niches. Therefore, rather than organizing the chapters around general themes, such as "Motor Systems" or "Learning and Memory," the author presents in-depth "case studies" of individual animals; themes clearly emerge, but take on additional meaning by being considered in a real-world behavioral context.

While each chapter focuses on the world of a single animal, chapters are clustered into three major thematic sections: Sensory Worlds, Motor Strategies, and Behavioral Plasticity. At the end of each section is a "Coda" highlighting general principles of neuronal organization common to the chapters within it.

In writing the book, Dr. Carew has drawn on his many years of undergraduate teaching at Yale University. Behavioral Neurobiology does not presume a strong biological background, and is therefore suitable for a general undergraduate audience. However, the material is treated in sufficient depth to make the book useful for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in behavioral neurobiology or neuroethology as well.

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Thomas J. Carew is Bren Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. He earned his Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, where he began his studies of learning and memory as a graduate student. In addition to numerous journal articles, he has coauthored two books: Perspectives in Neural Systems and Behavior (with D. B. Kelley, Alan R. Liss, Inc., 1989) and Mechanistic Relationships Between Development and Learning (with C. Shatz and R. Menzel, John Wiley & Sons, 1998). Among the many awards he has received are the NIMH Career Development Award (1975--1987), an NIMH MERIT Award (1990--2000), and the Yale College Dylan Hixon Prize for Excellence in Teaching in the Natural Sciences (1990). In addition, Dr. Carew was awarded endowed chairs at both Yale University and the University of California. In Dr. Carew's laboratory, he and his colleagues use the marine mollusk Aplysia to examine the mechanisms by which the nervous system acquires, stores, and retrieves information. Dr. Carew's research interests focus on the cellular and molecular basis of learning and memory, the neuronal basis of behavior, and mechanisms of information processing in the nervous system.