Explorers of the Black Box: The Search for the Cellular Basis of Memory

Susan Allport, Author W. W. Norton & Company $17.95 (271p) ISBN 978-0-393-02322-0
When today's neuroscientists turn from their lab work to discuss distinctions between such terms as ""brain'' and ``mind,'' they betray how mysterious, subtle and indeterminate is their study of the human brain. Allport, herself one of the ``explorers of the black box'' (she has worked at the Massachusetts Woods Hole Marine Biological Lab), makes clear the reasons why there is such excitement in this new field. Psychiatry has gone just so far, while the Pavlovian behaviorism of the past century, itself at an impasse, has given way to an experimental science using astonishing techniques. Allport's history of the study of the brain, from the time of the first Golgi stain (of a slice of tissue) through Adrian's discovery of brain ``spikes'' in 1925 to Eric Kandel's experiments on the sea-snail Alypsia (beginning at Woods Hole in the 1960s), makes wondrous if challenging reading. Students and serious readers will study Allport profitably. (November 17)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1986
Release date: 10/01/1986
Paperback - 271 pages - 978-0-595-18962-5
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-1-5040-3420-3
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