Brain Arousal and Information Theory by Donald W. Pfaff
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Brain Arousal and Information Theory
By Donald W. Pfaff

Brain Arousal and Information Theory

Neural and Genetic Mechanisms

By (author) See other recent books by Donald W. Pfaff
Format: Hardback

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Brain Arousal and Information Theory by Donald W. Pfaff

Book Description

Arousal is fundamental to all cognition. It is intuitively obvious, absolutely necessary, but what exactly is it? In "Brain Arousal and Information Theory," Donald Pfaff presents a daring perspective on this long-standing puzzle. Pfaff argues that, beneath our mental functions and emotional dispositions, a primitive neuronal system governs arousal. Employing the simple but powerful framework of information theory, Pfaff revolutionizes our understanding of arousal systems in the brain.Starting with a review of the neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and neurochemical components of arousal, Pfaff asks us to look at the gene networks and neural pathways underlying the brain's arousal systems much as a design engineer would contemplate information systems. This allows Pfaff to postulate that there is a bilaterally symmetric, bipolar system universal among mammals that readies the animal or the human being to respond to stimuli, initiate voluntary locomotion, and react to emotional challenges. Applying his hypothesis to heightened states of arousal--sex and fear--Pfaff shows us how his theory opens new scientific approaches to understanding the structure of brain arousal.A major synthesis of disparate data by a preeminent neuroscientist, Brain Arousal and Information Theory challenges current thinking about cognition and behavior. Whether you subscribe to Pfaff's theory or not, this book will stimulate debate about the nature of arousal itself.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674019201
ISBN-10: 0674019202
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 155mm x 24mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 2-Dec-2005
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Donald W. Pfaff

Altruistic Brain by Donald W. Pfaff Altruistic Brain, Hardback (December 2014)

The Altruistic Brain uses language accessible to non-scientists so as to present an elegant theory of how human beings are "wired" to produce altruistic behavior in the first instance.

From the Couch to the Lab by Donald W. Pfaff From the Couch to the Lab, Hardback (May 2012)

Can the psychodynamics of the mind be correlated with neurodynamic processes in the brain? The book revisits a question that scientists and psychoanalysts have been asking for more than a century. It brings together experts from Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Psychiatry and Neurology to consider this question.

Handbook of Neuroendocrinology by Donald W. Pfaff Handbook of Neuroendocrinology, Hardback (October 2011)

Neuroendocrinology, the discipline concerned with how the nervous system controls hormonal secretion and how hormones control the brain, is pivotal to physiology and medicine. This title covers the basic principles, neural regulation, hormone/brain function and behavior, and neuroendocrine pathology.

» View all books by Donald W. Pfaff

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Author Biography - Donald W. Pfaff

Donald Pfaff is Professor of Neurobiology and Behaviour at The Rockefeller University in New York City.

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Recent books by Donald W. Pfaff close
Hormones, Brain and Behavior by Donald W. Pfaff
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