We realize that a course in behavioral neuroscience can be challenging for many students, particularly those who are under-prepared for science courses. To make the process of mastering behavioral neuroscience concepts easier, we have included the following features:
Accessible Writing Style
Many textbooks are classified by “level,” but it is my opinion that the most complex topics can be mastered by students across a wide range of preparation if the writing style is clear. Students and instructors from the community college through the top R1 universities have kindly complimented me on the accessible writing style used in this textbook. The textbook is also widely adopted in non-English-speaking countries, which suggests that the writing style is manageable for those for whom English is not a first language.
Clear, Large, Carefully Labeled Illustrations
Our medical-quality anatomical illustrations help students visualize the structures and processes discussed in each part of the textbook. Behavioral neuroscience is similar to geography in its highly visual nature, and both fields require more visual aids than most other courses. The illustrations in the textbook are augmented by a set of online animations that help the student grasp processes over time, such as the propagation of action potentials down the length of an axon.
Learning Objectives and Chapter Outlines
Each chapter begins with a concise set of learning objectives designed to tap into higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, as well as an outline of the chapter’s content. These features assist students in planning their learning and in becoming familiar with main terms and concepts to be covered.
We regularly provide margin definitions for many difficult terms. Unlike many textbooks, we do not restrict margin definitions to keyterms only. In the electronic forms of the book, these take the form of pop-up definitions, with which students are familiar from their online searching experience.
We provide a concise list of keyterms to help students focus their learning. Behavioral neuroscience can often seem more like a foreign language course than a science course, and students benefit from guidance regarding which terms should be prioritized.
Each chapter features two to three interim summaries where students can catch their breath and check their mastery of the material before proceding. These summaries feature summary points keyed to the learning objectives listed at the beginning of each chapter and review questions. Most interim summaries also include a helpful table that pulls together key concepts from the previous section in one convenient place.
To emphasize how the material fits together and to promote elaborative rehearsal, we make references to other chapters relevant to the topic at hand. In the electronic form of the textbook, these will take the form of hyperlinks. This will allow the reader to refer to other parts of the book as review if necessary before proceding to new material.
At the end of each chapter, the student will find some thought questions that can also serve as essay or discussion prompts. The Chapter Reviews also include the list of keyterms.
In the electronic version of the textbook (see the description of MindTap), practice tests will be available for each main heading with a comprehensive practice test at the end of each chapter.