Neurophysiology of Ingestion
- D.A. Booth, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham BI5 2TT, UK
This collection of reviews draws together for the first time in one volume current understanding on neurophysiological approaches to ingestive behaviour in mammals, and as such is a landmark in the field of behavioural neuroscience. The book introduces to non-specialists the neural processes that mediate eating and drinking behaviour, focusing on the two areas of research that together are the key to understanding how the brain organizes ingestion and indeed any other sort of behaviour. On the one hand, the functional processes within the brain can only be elucidated with the help of information provided by recording the electrical activity of single nerve cells. On the other hand, the behaviour organized by interactions among neurones in relation to the environment can only be understood by experimental analysis of the cognitive processes which transform integrated sensory information into higher motor control. Thus, this book considers the organization of ingestive acts and resultant dietary selection and intakes through the senses of touch, taste, smell and sight and by the mechanical and chemical stimulation of the digestive tract and metabolic signals from the liver. The opening and closing chapters outline developing conceptions of the operation of the behavioural and neural systems as a whole in coordinating the impact of the internal and external environments on these diverse sensory modalities into the often sophisticated performance of consuming appropriate amounts of edible and potable materials.
For biological psychologists, behavioural biologists, physiologists and neuroscientists from senior undergraduate to specialist research levels.