The Mind's Machine: Foundations of Brain and Behavior

Neil V. Watson, Simon Fraser University, and S. Marc Breedlove, Michigan State University

Neil V. Watson, Simon Fraser University, and S. Marc Breedlove, Michigan State University

The Mind's Machine: Foundations of Brain and Behavior

Sample Content
table of contents


See our Mind's Machine, Second Edition brochure, highlighting the book's special features. 

The Mind’s Machine, introduced in 2012, was written to impart the core concepts of behavioral neuroscience to students in a diverse range of disciplines, including not only psychology and the other life sciences, but art, philosophy, media studies, linguistics, and the...

See our Mind's Machine, Second Edition brochure, highlighting the book's special features. 

The Mind’s Machine, introduced in 2012, was written to impart the core concepts of behavioral neuroscience to students in a diverse range of disciplines, including not only psychology and the other life sciences, but art, philosophy, media studies, linguistics, and the like. Through the use of streamlined text, full-color art, novel pedagogical features, and real-life examples and analogies, the book succeeded in engaging students new to neuroscience without sacrificing accuracy.

Put to the test by faculty and students, The Mind’s Machine proved itself to be accessible and reader-friendly—not to mention affordably priced—and the Second Edition is no less so. Here’s a sample of what teachers are saying:

“The writing style is great—almost like you are having a conversation with someone rather than reading a textbook.”
—Joseph H. Porter, Virginia Commonwealth University

“The students’ response was very positive. They found the writing very clear, the visual summaries very helpful, and the animations particularly supportive of their studying efforts. Students also commented positively on the availability of the textbook in electronic format; in addition, they really liked the textbook’s website.”
—Evangelia Chrysikou, University of Kansas

“This is an inexpensive yet comprehensive book.”
—Carmen Westerberg, Texas State University

If you are teaching a brain and behavior, biopsychology, or physiological psychology course, you will want to consider this book!


NEW! Signs and Symptoms
This new feature highlights important clinical issues related to the chapter topics that apply behavioral neuroscience to the study of clinical disorders.

Each chapter begins with a gripping vignette relating the material that follows to a real-life situation.

Visual Summary
A graphic layout helps organize the material, and directs students to the figures that reinforce each point. Bold-faced key terms, callouts to pertinent figures, and references to the Companion Website are provided.

Larger, standalone “Parts” of chaptersare written discretely to maximize flexibility in assigning readings.

Marginal Glossary
Bold-faced terms are defined in the margins of the text to help students identify and learn key terminology as they read.

Researchers at Work
Important discoveries are explained and illustrated to highlight the process of experimentation and hypothesis testing.

QR Codes
Using their smartphones, students can instantly access support material from the Companion Website, such as animations, activities, and videos to further explain topics.

Color Art
The figures are beautifully drawn to aid students’ understanding of biological processes. Concisely labeled and explained, the figures are one of the strongest pedagogical features in the text.

Boxes describe interesting applications, important methods, sidelights, historical perspectives, or refreshers on theoretical concepts.

A Step Further
This feature offers additional, more advanced material for an instructor who wants to make certain topics more challenging or for students who want to know more

“How’s it going?” Questions
At the end of each section are review questions to help students organize and rehearse what they’ve learned from the text.

Photographs show students “real-life” examples of concepts and topics.

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Neil V. Watson and the members of his lab at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada study sex-related aspects of the structure and function of the nervous system, with ongoing grant support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. His research, which spans from the effects of hormones and pollutants on the structure of the nervous system to the relationships among social factors, cognition, and steroids in humans, has appeared in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Neuroscience, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and Brain Research. Dr. Watson received his undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Western Ontario and his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined the faculty at SFU in 1996 where he is now Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience and Chair of Psychology. He teaches biological psychology to hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students each year.

S. Marc Breedlove, the Barnett Rosenberg Professor of Neuroscience at Michigan State University, has written over 130 scientific articles investigating the role of hormones in shaping the developing and adult nervous system, publishing in journals including Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. He is also passionate about teaching—in the classroom, and in the greater community through interviews with the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Newsweek, as well as broadcast programs such as All Things Considered, Good Morning America, and Sixty Minutes. He has active grant support from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Breedlove is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for Psychological Science.

Biological Psychology NewsLink

This invaluable online resource includes links to thousands of news stories, all organized by both keyword and textbook chapter. The site is updated daily, so it includes up-to-the-minute information, providing instructors with the latest news in the field—great for use in lecture. The site also helps students make connections between the science of biological psychology and their daily lives and keeps them apprised of the latest developments in the field.

For the Student

Companion Website

The Companion Website for The Mind’s Machine, Second Edition contains a wide range of resources to engage students and help them master the material presented in the textbook. Key resources are linked throughout the printed text via QR codes and direct Web addresses, making access to animations and videos easy from any mobile device or computer. The site includes the following resources:

  • Chapter Outlines provide an overview of each chapter.
  • Extensive Study Questions help students master the full range of material in each chapter.
  • Animations illustrate many of the complex, dynamic concepts and processes of biological psychology.
  • Videos present real-world examples of some of the key concepts and conditions discussed in the textbook.
  • Activities reinforce knowledge of key structures and processes.
  • Online versions of the Visual Summaries include links to all figures and online resources.
  • Online Quizzes (multiple-choice and essay questions) test the student’s grasp of the material, with results stored in an online gradebook (instructor registration required).
  • Flashcards facilitate effective review of the many new terms introduced in the textbook.
  • “A Step Further” offers advanced coverage of selected topics.
  • A Glossary provides quick access to definitions of all important terminology.

For the Instructor (available to qualified adopters)

Instructor's Resource Library

The Mind’s Machine Instructor's Resource Library includes a variety of resources to aid you in planning your course, developing your lectures, and assessing your students. The IRL includes the following resources:

  • Figures and Tables: All of the figures, photos, and tables from the textbook are provided as both high-resolution and low-resolution JPEGs, optimized for use in classroom presentations.
  • PowerPoint Resources: Two PowerPoint presentations are provided for each chapter of the textbook:
    • All figures, photos, and tables
    • A complete lecture outline, including selected figures
  • Videos: New for the Second Edition, a robust collection of video segments from the BBC and other sources bring to life may of the important concepts discussed in the textbook. Excellent as lecture-starters and discussion topics.
  • Animations: The full set of animations from the Companion Website, to help illustrate key concepts and dynamic processes.
  • Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank in Word format (see below for details).
  • Computerized Test Bank: The entire Test Bank is provided in Diploma format (software included), making it easy to quickly assemble exams using any combination of publisher-provided and instructor-written questions. Exams can be exported from Diploma to many different course management systems, such as Blackboard and Moodle.

Instructor’s Manual (included in the Instructor’s Resource Library)

The Mind’s Machine Instructor's Manual includes useful resources for planning your course and lectures. For each chapter of the textbook, it includes the following:

  • A Chapter Overview that gives a big-picture snapshot of what is covered in the chapter
  • A complete Chapter Outline
  • A set of Key Concepts that break the chapter down into its core elements
  • References for Lecture Development, including books, articles, and online resources
  • The complete list of Key Terms from the chapter

Test Bank (included in the Instructor’s Resource Library)

Revised for the Second Edition, the Test Bank includes a comprehensive set of exam questions for each chapter of the textbook. Multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, matching, and essay questions cover the full range of material in each chapter, at a variety of levels. All questions are referenced to specific textbook headings and to Bloom’s taxonomy categories. The Test Bank also includes all of the questions from the Companion Website online quizzes.

Online Quizzing

The Companion Website includes online quizzes (with both multiple choice and essay questions) that can be assigned by instructors or used as self-review exercises. Quizzes can be customized with any combination of publisher-provided questions and instructor-created questions, and can be assigned individually. Results of the quizzes are stored in the online gradebook. (Instructors must register in order for their students to be able to take the quizzes.)

If you have adopted this text for course use (within the U.S. or Canada) and are interested in the instructor’s supplements that accompany the text, please contact  [email protected]. Outside the U.S. or Canada? Check the orders and returns page for the distributor in your region.

Available Product Bundles

The Mind's Machine eBrain+: The Interactive Sheep Neuroanatomy Tutorial $150.91
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The Mind's Machine and eBrain+: The Interactive Sheep Neuroanatomy Tutorial for $132.01 (Suggested List Price: $150.91)