Keeping up to date

Stacey A. Bedwell reviews Human Neuroanatomy (2nd edn), by James R. Augustine (Wiley; Hb £104.00)

Having completed my PhD in neuroanatomy, I am always excited to see a new anatomy book. As is the nature and rapid advances in our understanding of neuroanatomy, it is the unfortunate truth that anatomy textbooks can quickly become outdated and can easily overlook current developments in the field. It is clear from the outset that Augustine has paid attention to the current research and has tried his best to keep the content of this detailed summary of human neuroanatomy relevant.

It is commonplace nowadays for books to come with a companion website, and Human Neuroanatomy has an excellent one. The website provides an excellent tool for enthusiastic readers, or those looking for additional information on a specific subject to gain a bit more from the book without making the book content too complex or intimidating for those requiring more of an introduction. This flexible approach makes Human Neuroanatomy suitable for a wide audience, from expert neuroscientists to undergraduate psychologists.

The book itself has an extensive contents list, which could be overwhelming at first glance. Augustine however has done a good job of breaking down the content into easily digestible sections that flow on from one another in an easy-to-follow way, making the large amount of information less intimidating.

Augustine begins with a basic, but detailed, introduction to the human nervous system and its components. Although the book is aimed at advanced students, researchers and clinicians, this introductory section makes it accessible to a beginner such as an undergraduate or a non-specialist. This theme of accessibility continues throughout the chapters, with simple and easy-to-follow explanations followed by more complex in-depth sections.

Human Neuroanatomy offers an excellent source of information for those at any stage of their career, in neuroscience or psychology, or for someone with a general interest in brain science.

- Reviewed by Dr Stacey A. Bedwell,  Lecturer in Psychology, Birmingham City University

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