Cover: Brain Arousal and Information Theory: Neural and Genetic Mechanisms, from Harvard University PressCover: Brain Arousal and Information Theory in HARDCOVER

Brain Arousal and Information Theory

Neural and Genetic Mechanisms

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Product Details


$72.50 • £58.95 • €65.50

ISBN 9780674019201

Publication Date: 12/30/2005


224 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

5 halftones, 42 line illustrations, 10 tables


  • Preface and Dedication
  • 1. Toward a Universal Theory of Brain Arousal
    • What Is to Be Explained? Ethology and the Mechanisms of Arousal
    • Operational Definition of Arousal
    • A Quantitative Approach to Physical Measurement of Generalized Arousal
    • The Neurobiology of Arousal Constitutes an Interesting Application of Information Theory
    • Claims for This Chapter and Introduction to Chapters Following
  • 2. Anatomy Is Not Destiny, but a Little Neuroanatomy Helps
    • Multiplicity and Redundancy of Ascending Arousal Pathways Prevent Failure
    • Primitive “Master Cells” in the Brainstem Provide a Neuroanatomic Core that Theoretically Matches the Behavioral Data
    • Long-Distance Lines Tuning Local Modules
    • Summary and Hypothetical Implications for Human Behavior
  • 3. Arousal Is Signaled by Electrical Discharges in a System of Nerve Cells
    • Traveling Up the Brainstem
    • Special Cases: Olfaction and Vision
    • Informational Content Governs Amplitude of Response in Neurons Related to Arousal
    • Cerebral Cortex, the EEG
    • Electrical Activity in Three Arousal-Related Biological Systems
  • 4. Autonomic Nervous System Changes Supporting Arousal; the Unity of the Body
    • Patterns of Autonomic Responses
    • Reformulations
    • A High Information System Shows Coordination sans Correlation
    • Supporting Hormone-Dependent Behaviors
    • Summary
  • 5. Genes Whose Neurochemical Products Support Arousal
    • Genes Associated with Classical Systems
    • Genes Newly Recognized
    • Concepts and Questions
    • Summary
  • 6. Heightened States of Arousal: Sex Compared to Fear
    • Sex Behavior’s CNS Mechanisms Require Arousal
    • Generalized Arousal Affects Specific Arousals and Vice Versa
    • Contrast Sex and Fear
    • Applicability of Information Theory
    • Libido and Stress in Humans
    • Summary
  • 7. Major Systems Questions about Brain Arousal Networks
    • What Are Universal Operating Features of Arousal Systems?
    • How Do We Meet the Requirement for Rapid Changes of CNS State?
    • Sensitivity and Alacrity of Response, Yet Stability? How?
    • Does Automata Theory Apply?
    • Questions in the Time Domain
    • Questions about Spatial Properties
    • Thermodynamics, Information Theory, and Questions for the CNS
    • How Does a Sine Wave Impact a Sawtooth?
    • Unity from Diversity?
  • 8. Summary and Practical Importance: From Biological Mechanisms to Health Applications
  • Main Points
  • Applications to Human Conditions
  • Works Cited
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

Awards & Accolades

  • 2005 Association of American Publishers PSP Award for Excellence, Medical Science Category
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