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  Heartfelt  Acknowledgments


     In the more-than-30 years that I have taught the biological psychology course, the first few minutes of every class has been the same—and I am quite sure that if you are examining this book for adoption in your course, you have had the same experience. I stand there smiling and cheerful as my new students, fear and trepidation written plainly across their faces, file in and take their seats. My first goal, and I’m sure yours as well, has also always been the same: to soften those fearful student eyes as quickly as I can. Also like you, I have never been willing to sacrifice  the important content of the course, but over the years I have gotten better at teaching the content in a style and at a pace commensurate with my students’ abilities to comprehend it.

     My second goal (Isn’t it yours as well?) is to get my students not just comfortable in my class but interested! To get those eyes riveted and those heads nodding with flashes of insight. And again, over the years, I learned to sprinkle my lectures with spicy tidbits like black widow spider venom and  hallucinating monkeys and, perhaps more importantly, with answers to the unspoken student questions, “Why do I need to learn this?” and “How does this relate to my life?” Thus, when I opened a fresh, new Word document to begin writing the First Edition of this text, a very important question came to  mind. Given the wide range of textbooks in biological psychology, “Why write another one?” My answer was that no existing textbook met the criteria I had set for myself as an instructor—  thoroughness balanced by clarity and student appeal. Would it be possible to write a text that effectively combines the rigor of current research with a student-friendly teaching approach appropriate for diverse student needs and abilities?

     I believed it was possible, and that was why I decided to write this book. Now, having used the First  Edition in my own classes, I believe that it met those goals. But the world of biological psychology refused to stand still just because my First Edition had been published. Every day, news feeds describing exciting new research that challenged and rewrote much of our understanding of brain  and behavior crossed my desk. Questions that had to left unanswered in my First Edition were not only answered, but they were replaced by whole new sets of questions unimagined just a few years earlier. Technology continued to advance at lightning speed. Repeated transcranial magnetic  stimulation was so new when the First Edition went to press that I had to rely on my high school Latin   and a very good dictionary to struggle through an article written in Portugese, just so that I might  include something about this important technique in my book. Today, only a few years later, a Medline search returns hundreds of pages of articles on rTMS technology (and most, fortunately  for me, are in English).

     Besides getting very helpful feedback from my own students, I also had the pleasure of hearing  from students and instructors from all over the world who were using the book, and who took the  time to offer many innovative ways it could be improved for their use. These ideas, along with the  very helpful formal reviews of the First Edition from my publisher, confirmed my ideas for change and added some exciting new ones. When I finally got the green light to start working on the Second  Edition, I jumped at the opportunity. Looking back at the changes made in the second edition, I am amazed at the many accomplishments of scientists in our field over just the past few years, and  the opportunity to share this new information is exciting. Even more than the First Edition, this new   text synthesizes my experience in conveying the excitement and fascination of biological psychology in a way that I hope will appeal to both my colleagues and our students.

       New & Key Features

     With a small homage to Frank Lloyd Wright, form, function and fun are three themes in which our text is based. Each theme is discussed and a page is offered in thumbnail as an example, click and you will see a larger version.

     As I launched into the writing of the Second Edition I had three major goals: to update
and refine the content, enhance the student interest
factor, and augment the student learning aids.

  New & Expanded Content

     In addition to the usual updates reflecting recent research, I have added new topics and expanded coverage of others. The new edition features nearly 1,000 new references, about half of which are dated 2006 or later. In the Second Edition, users of the First Edition will find new topics, such as:

                    ■ mirror neurons and their role in movement, empathy, language, and autism,

                    ■ von Economo neurons and their implications for evolution,

                    ■ new models of brain development during adolescence and young adulthood,
                  with    an emphasis
                  on implications for psychological disorders, decision-making, and the juvenile
                   justice system,


                    ■ the implications of artificial light on sleep, obesity, and health.

     Users of the First Edition will also find more coverage of such topics as stem cells, genetics, Alzheimer’s disease, oxytocin and social behavior, psychopathy, stress and memory, and decision-making in the Second Edition.


      By the way, always feel free to contact me with any requests , comments, suggestions and I'll do what I  can to help!













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