Human Neuroanatomy: A Text, Brain Atlas, and Laboratory Dissection Guide has been substantially changed and updated from a previous edition entitled The Human Brain in Dissection published in 1988 and accordingly has been re-titled. The last 20 years have seen a significant shift in the way anatomy and its sub-disciplines like neuroanatomy are taught in both undergraduate and graduate neuroscience courses; not only has the time allocated for these courses been reduced, but the teaching methodologies have become more focused and specific due to time constraints.
As reported by Drake et. al., "Medical education in the anatomical sciences: the winds of change continue to blow" (Anat. Sci. Educ., 2: 253-259, 2009), we have seen an overall drop in the total number of lecture hours and laboratory hours since the last survey done of medical curricula in 2002. Human Neuroanatomy has been reconstructed to appeal to just these changes: courses with a lab/dissection component as well as those without will find this guide the perfect teaching tool to understand human neuroanatomy.
With these limitations in mind and to better meet current requirements the authors have expanded the textural content in this new edition and separated it entirely from the dissection instructions which have been retained. The "Laboratory Exercise" as it is now designated stands alone in a highlighted box in each chapter. It outlines what is to be accomplished during a given session using pre-dissected specimens and/or appropriate models or by exposing them in a dissection. Clear step by step procedural instructions are provided and important structures to be seen are highlighted. The dissection sequence laid out in the chapters is a progressive one requiring only a single wet specimen and ideally completed in two hour periods. Students who do not have the opportunity to dissect, however may simply skip these paragraphs.
In this 3rd edition of the book many new illustrations have been added to better depict the salient features of the brain at various stages of dissection and to facilitate understanding the subject matter. Labeling of some illustrations has changed and others have been replaced. All are amply referenced to the text and to the laboratory exercises and are intended to assist with or be used in lieu of dissection.
New also in this edition is a section of clinically-relevant notes as well as USMLE type multiple-choice questions added in separate sections at the end of each chapter. These quiz type questions provide students with a means of assessing their understanding of the subject matter in each chapter and an indication of how their knowledge might be tested.
And finally, an atlas of 62 labelled brain sections in four different planes, at the end of the book, has been retained. CT scans and M.R. images that correspond as closely as possible to the anatomic section are included.
Comprehensive and concise Human Neuroanatomy: A Text, Brain Atlas, and Laboratory Dissection Guide is an invaluable guide to assist medical, dental and allied health science students understand nervous system structure, function and disease.
Reviewer:John K. Hubbard, PhD, PT(Texas A&M University Health Science Center)
Description:This is a greatly improved update of an all inclusive book designed for use in laboratory-based neuroanatomy courses. This edition expands upon and updates the content, and includes clinically relevant notes, sample USMLE Step 1-type questions with answers, and a methodological, step-by-step dissection guide.
Purpose:The purpose is to provide students of neuroanatomy with a single book that covers essential factual and clinical information as well as a guide for them through their laboratory experience. This is necessary in order to bridge the ever widening gap between teaching time allotment and laboratory time requirements, both of which are essential to the learning of human neuroanatomy. This book meets the objectives by providing the essentials of neuroanatomy, relevant clinical commentary, detailed laboratory dissection and learning instructions, and self assessment sections.
Audience:Medical, dental, and allied health students studying human neuroanatomy are the intended audience. Students with minimal prior knowledge of neuroanatomy and dissection skills will benefit. The dissection guide is also appropriate for students enrolled in courses that do not have an abundance of fresh wet brains by enabling student groups to see essential structures and pathways with a single wet brain specimen.
Features:The book covers the entire nervous system in a logical and systematic fashion. It begins with developmental embryology, then progresses through osteology, the meninges, and blood supply. The CNS is then explored from superficial to deep structures in an organized manner. Each region begins with text on normal anatomy accompanied by multiple photographic and/or stained images. The anatomy is followed by detailed laboratory experiences including step-by-step instructions when applicable. Clinically relevant material is then presented, highlighting common pathologic processes that involve the region under review. Each chapter ends with a self-review section using sample USMLE Step 1-type questions and an extensive reference and selected reading list. An excellent atlas at the end of the book includes brain sections with 62 well labeled images. The images are presented with orientation overlays and labels helping the student to orient the section to the morphology of the whole brain. The highlights of the book are the systematic organization, the detailed laboratory experiences, and the labeled brain sections. The only drawbacks are the photographs themselves. Although the specimens are excellent examples, the photographs are all black and white, with black labels and lines that become difficult to follow to their termination. In this age of high resolution color digital photography, I would have preferred to see nice color images with better contrast on the lines and labels.
Assessment:This is a nicely prepared book, with the exception of the photographic deficits. It offers essential neuroanatomy in a readable format. This edition is justified with the updates and inclusion of the self-study questions. The accompanying laboratory experiences make this an ideal text for a laboratory-based course in human neuroanatomy. I would recommend it to those looking to combine a typical neuroanatomy text with a laboratory dissection guide in a laboratory-based neuroanatomy course or module.