Book review – all about the connections

LeDoux has written an introduction to neurology from the perspective of the synapses and their biochemistry. The author is an experimental researcher into fear circuits in the brain, the book is quite advanced and sometimes a little dense and meandering.

LeDoux provides many experimental examples and diagrams that keep the book a stimulating read, as he looks at the different kinds of neurons and the formation and regulation of synapses, influenced by genetics and pre/post-natal environment. He looks at the biochemistry of synapses and their “long term potentiation” to show how this affects learning and memory. He also reviews our systems for emotion and motivation, and suggests how consciousness comes about.

The author concludes by reviewing the causes of several psychiatric disorders and how drugs treat them. A technical yet different perspective on our brains and how differences and disorders occur.