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How Brain Arousal Mechanisms Work
Paths Toward Consciousness

  • Author: Donald Pfaff, Neurobiology and Behavior, Rockefeller University, New York
  • Date Published: December 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108433334


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About the Authors
  • What are the physical paths towards consciousness? How do humans transition out of deep anesthesia, deep sleep, or traumatic brain injury? This book presents a new argument that expands past theories centered on the cerebral cortex, and instead emphasizes the longitudinally-integrated brainstem systems that are essential to the mechanism of consciousness. The workings of these vertical pathways that 'wake up the brain' are examined in neurobiological and molecular detail. Mirroring the evolution of this system from fish to humans, chapters in the book move from hindbrain to forebrain and from animal brain to human brain, developing the unified approach involved in the brain arousal mechanism. Considering consciousness through an array of neuronal structures, this book provides a new physical explanation of the phenomenon. Written for neurologists, neuroscientists, psychologists and psychiatrists, the book's succinct and readable tone means it is also suitable for readers interested in the workings of the brain.

    • Argues for a new and unified concept of brain arousal, emphasising longitudinal-integrated systems and moving past current theories focused on the cerebral cortex
    • Summarizes a rapidly growing neurologic literature, to offer readers a combined review of neuroanatomical, neurophysiological and molecular genetic work to further understanding of human consciousness
    • Succinct and jargon-free, the book supports neurologists, neuroscientists, psychologists and psychiatrists in assisting patients to physical consciousness as well as providing an innovative work for more general readers interested in the workings of the human brain
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108433334
    • length: 168 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 9 mm
    • weight: 0.3kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Concept
    2. Giant cells in the medullary reticular formation
    3. Pons
    4. Midbrain
    5. Hypothalamus: low road
    6. Thalamus: high road
    7. High arousal
    8. Phase transitions from low Ga states
    9. Roots of consciousness and its disorders
    10. A vertically integrated system.

  • Author

    Donald Pfaff, Neurobiology and Behavior, Rockefeller University, New York
    Donald Pfaff is Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior at the Rockefeller University, New York. With over fifty years of experience in the field, he has authored or edited more than thirty books and is active on six journal editorial boards in topics of neuroscience. His study of generalized arousal led to the first operational definition of the term, enabling scientists to measure arousal quantitatively in laboratory animals and humans.

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