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The Mind's Machine

Foundations of Brain and Behavior

Fourth Edition

Author Neil V. Watson and S. Marc Breedlove

Publication Date - 15 October 2020

ISBN: 9781605359731

624 pages
Other inches

In Stock

The most visually appealing and student-friendly brain and behavior book available, The Mind's Machine, Fourth Edition, presents an accessible, yet thorough, introduction to the field


The Mind's Machine imparts the core concepts of behavioral neuroscience to students in a diverse range of disciplines, including not only psychology and the other life sciences, but art, philosophy, media studies, linguistics, and the like. The Mind's Machine, Fourth Edition, offers a streamlined text, full-color art, novel pedagogical features, and real-life examples and analogies to engage students new to neuroscience without sacrificing accuracy. This accessible, reader-friendly book is appropriate for brain and behavior, biopsychology, and physiological psychology courses.

Optimize Student Learning with Oxford Insight
The Mind's Machine, Fourth Edition, is also available separately in Oxford Insight. Oxford Insight delivers the content of The Mind's Machine within powerful, data-driven courseware designed to optimize student success. with a foundation in learning science, Insight enables instructors to deliver a personalized and engaging learning experience that empowers students by actively engaging them with assigned reading. This adaptivity, paired with real-time actionable data about student performance, helps instructors ensure that each student is best supported along their unique learning path. Contact your Oxford University Press representative or visit https://oxfordinsight.oup.com/ to learn more.

New to this Edition

  • Now available in Oxford Insight, an adaptive learning and interactive content-based courseware for both students and instructors, that helps students gain a deeper and critical understanding of their reading and provides instructors with an easy to use learning system. Oxford Insight is available separately. Contact your Oxford University Press representative to learn more.
  • Chapter Four is a new and added chapter on development, which was previously a part of chapter Thirteen
  • Extensive updates to each chapter including 200 new references to current research
  • An enhanced eBook makes reading an interactive experience with all media included directly in the text
  • Updated art and figures throughout to match the new and updated references


  • "The Road Ahead" learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter provide students a look at the important points made throughout the material
  • "How's it Going" self-check points aid students in understanding the material better and letting it sink in throughout varying points in the reading
  • "Researchers at Work" features cover experimental techniques and designs used in the behavioral neuroscience field and is aimed at piquing student interest and connection beyond the text
  • "Signs and Symptoms" features related to clinical cases further helps students to think critically about the reading as they explore real clinical work
  • The graphic layout of the "Visual Summaries" helps organize the material and directs students to figures that reinforce each point
  • Important discoveries are explained in the "Researchers at Work" boxes and include illustrations that highlight the process of experimentation and hypothesis testing
  • Color art aids students' understanding of biological processes with clear labeling and captioning
  • "A Step Further" offers additional, more advanced material for the instructor or student

About the Author(s)

Neil V. Watson and the members of his lab at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada study sex-related aspects of the structure and function of the nervous system, with ongoing grant support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. His research, which spans from the effects of hormones and pollutants on the structure of the nervous system to the relationships among social factors, cognition, and steroids in humans, has appeared in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Neuroscience, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and Brain Research. Dr. Watson received his undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Western Ontario and his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined the faculty at SFU in 1996 where he is now Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience and Chair of Psychology. He teaches biological psychology to hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students each year.

S. Marc Breedlove, the Barnett Rosenberg Professor of Neuroscience at Michigan State University, has written over 130 scientific articles investigating the role of hormones in shaping the developing and adult nervous system, publishing in journals including Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. He is also passionate about teaching-in the classroom, and in the greater community through interviews with the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Newsweek, as well as broadcast programs such as All Things Considered, Good Morning America, and Sixty Minutes. He has active grant support from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Breedlove is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for Psychological Science.


"The Mind's Machine is a must-have textbook for any student, in any field, wanting to learn how and why we do the things we do. It is up-to-date and cleverly written with beautiful illustrations within the chapters and visual summaries."--Alicia Walf, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

"This is a very readable introduction to the biological bases of behavior. It includes helpful graphics, useful study aides, both in the book and online, and well curated animations, videos, research vignettes, and study guides and quizzes to aid students learning and help instructors improve their course delivery."--Christina Williams, Duke University

Table of Contents

    1. Cells and Structures: The Anatomy of the Nervous System
    2. Neurophysiology: The Generation, Transmission, and Integration of Neural Signals
    3. The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
    4. Development of the Brain
    5. The Sensorimotor System
    6. Hearing, Balance, Taste, and Smell
    7. Vision: From Eye to Brain
    8. Hormones and Sex
    9. Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
    10. Biological Rhythms and Sleep
    11. Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
    12. Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
    13. Memory, Learning, and Development
    14. Attention and Higher Cognition
    15. Language and Lateralization

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