Neuroscience has a short history but a long past, to borrow a phrase once used to describe psychology. Although ideas about the relationship of mind and body have been studied since written records were available, it is only in the last fifty years that the term 'neuroscience' has been applied to bring together the variety of academic disciplines focusing on brain and behavior. While there are many published works that address the history of neuroscience or examine current issues, few present contemporary topics while revisiting the historical roots. The Victorian era was particularly important in the development of theories of the nervous system and remnants of those ideas are often visible in today's discourse on brain and behavior. Advances in technology in neuroscience has sometimes yielded a bag of mixed results in forwarding our understanding. This book explores a mix of neuroscience topics focusing on the brain, psychoactive drugs, and applications to a variety of human behaviors and experiences, such as music and sleep.
Lori A. Schmied is a professor of psychology and coordinator of the neuroscience program at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee.