Neuroscience Book Chapter Review



The chapter review is drawn from chapter one, of a book that explainsneuroscience comprehensively. According to the book, neuroscience isthe study of the nervous system comprising of the central andperipheral nervous system (Squire et al, 2013). The study of thebrain is a crucial part of psychology. Psychologists need to know thebrain functions and the factors that influence its working capacity.As is the norm with many other disciplines, psychology drawsconclusions from the pathology of the brain tissue and nerve cells.This essay is a book report of chapter one of the book calledFundamental Neuroscience by Squire, Berg, Bloom, Lac, Ghosh andSpitzer.

The chapter begins with a brief history of neuroscience. The term‘Neuroscience’ was coined in the 1960s. It is an amalgamation ofthree aspects of neuroscience- neurobiology, neurochemistry andneurophysics (Squire et al, 2013). Initially, scientists were workingseparately depending on their area of specialization. For instance,neurobiologists wanted to know and comprehensively establish thecorrelation between the behavior of people and the human brain.Neurochemistry experts concentrated on the reaction of biomoleculesin the brain and their impact on human behavior.

The book clearly outlines the hierarchy of the nervous system. Theneurons are the basic units of the system. There are three types ofneurons depending on their function- sensory, motor and interneuron.Depending on their location within the body, there are two types ofneurons- cortical and spinal. Neurons also come in different shapesincluding mitral, pyramidal, and granule (Squire et al, 2013). TheCommon structure of most neurons is a cell body with a varying numberof axons and dendrites. Some of the appendages are highly branched toincrease the surface area for the transmission of nerve impulses totarget cells.

The chapter explores the communication between neuron, which is basedon synaptic relationships. The type of synaptic relationships thatexists between neurons will depend on the type of neurons involved.Among the most common arrangements is the axosomatic or axodendriticsynapse. In this arrangement, the axons of the origin cell makeconnection with the dendrites of the neuron that is targeted totransmit a nerve impulse” (Squire et al, 2013). The other two typesof arrangement are rare. The somasomatic synapse is adjacent neuronswhile the dendrodendritic synapse is found in overlapping dendrites.

The chapter further discuses the brain’s cellular organization.Unlike the way people believe, the Central Nervous System is made upof many cells, not just the neurons. There is a wide array of cellsin the brain that support the function of the neurons. Theirmagnitude outnumbers that of the neurons by far. The most abundantsupportive cells, also called astrocytes, are the macroglia. They areresponsible for the metabolic support functions like the nourishingof the intermediates with energy. They are also responsible for theremoval of secretions of the extracellular neurotransmitter. Myelinproducing cells known as the oligondendroglia are another groupsupport cells in the CNS. The function of myelin is to insulate thelong axons of bioelectric neurons and increase the rate oftransmission of nerve impulses (Squire et al, 2013). The microglia isa group of immune cells that support the neurons. When a foreign bodyor dead tissue accumulates in the brain, the cells send out signalsto macrophages to clean up the mess.

In conclusion, this chapter offers an insight on the functioning ofthe brain at the molecular level. It talks about the different typesof neurons, their interactions and the function of support cells. Thechapter depicts the Central Nervous System as a complex networkneurons and support cells that work in coordination to ensure normalfunctions.


Squire RL, Berg, D, Bloom E,F, Lac SD, Ghosh A, Spitzer NC. (2013)Fundamental Neuroscience. 4th Ed. Amsterdam:Academic press.