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Creating Modern Neuroscience: The Revolutionary 1950s$
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Gordon M. Shepherd MD, DPhil

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195391503

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195391503.001.0001

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Neural Systems: The Neural Basis of Behavior

Neural Systems: The Neural Basis of Behavior

(p.144) 11 Neural Systems: The Neural Basis of Behavior
Creating Modern Neuroscience: The Revolutionary 1950s

Gordon M. Shepherd

Oxford University Press

This chapter details notable discoveries about neural systems in the 1950s. For instance, research revealed, for the first time, widely distributed systems involved in global functions underlying behavior. The first evidence was also found that the brain is a gland as well as a computer. The reticular activating system in the brainstem was shown to provide for arousal of the cortex as an accompaniment to sensory perception. Rapid eye movements were demonstrated in sleep, leading to an entirely new understanding of sleep as a complex active brain state. Operant conditioning was demonstrated, introducing a new paradigm for studying brain mechanisms in motivation and learning.

Keywords:   neural systems, neurons, behavior, brain, reticular activating system, sensory perception, rapid eye movements, operant conditioning

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