Brain and Behavior (OD)
Bryn Mawr College. Several articles and links.
Bryn Mawr College. Several articles and links.
More than half a dozen neuroscience websites from PsychWeb. Several of them are very complete and well worth checking out.
Neuroscience For Kids (PsyW)
Brain from Top to Bottom (BTtB)
This excellent website covers 11 major topics, from five different viewpoints (social, psychological, neurological, cellular and molecular) on three different levels of difficulty. Click on a topic that interests you and then accept the opportunity to see it from five different view points. You'll probably want to start at the 'Beginner' level of difficulty, but as you learn more you can increase the difficulty level. I can't recommend this highly enough.
MIT Online Courses
MIT 9.01 - Introduction to Neuroscience
I got Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. by Bear et al, which is the single text for Introduction to Neuroscience (2004), from Amazon for $12 plus $4 shipping. It's a good book. In some ways it's a better book than the one I've been sending out (see: Historical Background & Free Book), but since they're organized differently, they could end up complimenting one another.
The book for the MIT course is organized along anatomical lines, while the book I send out is organized more along functional lines. MIT's anatomical approach gives a much clearer picture of the anatomy while the functional approach of the book I've been giving away gives a picture of the anatomy which is fragmented and scattered throughout the book. My interest in anatomy is secondary to my interest in function, but I think an understanding of function is better achieved by the MIT book's more coherent presentation of anatomy.
If you click on the "Related Resources" link in the left hand column of the course home page and then click on the "Neuroscience Animations Web Site" link, you can see some cool animations. There are also a limited number of lecture notes in PDF. Both of these are, of course, free.
MIT 9.01- Neuroscience and Behavior
Here are reviews of the 5 affordable books required by this course. Taken as a group, they can be seen as an expanded and more detailed discussion of the same issues covered by the book by Bear, et al. assigned for the Intro. to Neuroscience course, above.
1. The textbook 'Biological Psychology' by Rosenzweig et al is excellent, and it only cost me $4.75 + $4 shipping. What I like best about this book is that it devotes 28 pages to the evolution of the nervous system. I really think that this is the best approach. Our human nervous system is overwhelmingly complex, but it has evolved from the much more simple nervous systems of our ancestors. Even just trying to understand the nervous systems from which ours evolved is a challenge, but it provides a very helpful preliminary stage to understanding our own.
2. 'Cognitive Neuroscience' by Gazzangia, et al. cost me $4.95 + shipping. As the name implies, it concentrates on cognition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognition , and can be seen as "zooming out" from the Rosenzweig's book, above.
3. 'Neurons and Networks' by Dowling cost me $4.58 + shipping. It looks more closely at the details of the interactions between the neurons and can be seen as a "zooming in" of Rosenzweig's book.
4. 'Newton's Madness' by Klawans cost exactly one penny + shipping and is a collection of case studies of organic brain disease. The cases are interesting, but the author has a very dry writing style which makes the book less fun than it might have been.
5. 'The Triumph of the Embryo' by Wolpert cost me $1.05 + shipping. It is limited to a very clear explanation of embryonic development.
The course also offers audio lectures in both MP3 and streaming formats and a large collection of short PDF study materials and quizzes. These are, of course, available for free.
All in all, a very complete course.
While I was looking for endocrinology classes, I stumbled across an additional neuroscience class in the Health Science Technology Department rather than the Brain and Cognition Department.
HST.422J A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain
'This course has really extensive 'Lecture Notes' which are free, of course, and which you may find interesting.
This book does an excellent job of living up to its title. It gives a very clear exposition of neurons and their interactions in humans. Unfortunately, it says very little about the endocrine system or our early ancestors, so there is little that is directly applicable to psychology. If you want a textbook on Neuroscience, the Zigmond book recommended in 'MIT 9.14 Brain Structure and its Origins' would be a better choice.
Looking for Spinoza: Damasio
The author is a major figure in modern neuroscience. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant%C3%B3nio_Dam%C3%A1sio
However, I wouldn't recommend his book. He seems to have become mesmerized by the mind-body problem. I'm more interested in the mechanics of behavior, and I avoid the trap into which he has fallen by being a monist. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_Monism
MIT 9.373 Somatosensory and Motor Systems
Like HST.131 Introduction to Neuroscience, and MIT 9.05, below, this course requires: 'Principles of Neural Science' by Kandel, et al., the latest edition of which costs $64. That's more than I'm usually willing to spend, but if enough courses require it, I may go ahead and get it.
However, the 'Readings' section is enormous with 93 downloaded abstracts, so it may not necessary to buy the text book. Perhaps the best strategy might be to get as much out of the free material as possible and then consider whether or not to buy the book.
MIT 9.05 Neural Basis of Movement
There are 16 abstracts provided in the 'Reading' section. So far I've only read one. I liked it so much that I've copy-and-pasted it below.
Bizzi, E., M . C. Tresch, P. Saltiel, and A. d'Avella. "New Perspectives on Spinal Motor Systems." Nature Reviews/Neuroscience 1 (2000): 101-108.