Cognition, Brain and Consciousness provides students and readers with an overview of the study of the human brain and its cognitive development. It discusses brain molecules and their primary function, which is to help carry brain signals to and from the different parts of the human body. These molecules are also essential for understanding language, learning, perception, thinking, and other cognitive functions of our brain. The book also presents the tools that can be used to view the human brain through brain imaging or recording. Brain recording is used to measure electric and magnetic signals in our brain. The most precise recording method is the single neuron or unit recording that uses deep needle electrodes implanted in the brain. In addition, the book discusses peoples consciousness and attention spans, which are considered complementary processes. Learning and memory capacity of the brain are also discussed. The study of cognitive neuroscience is very challenging, as every aspect of the human brain must be studied to fully understand how the brain works.

Key Features

  • New edition of a very successful textbook
  • Completely revised to reflect new advances, and feedback from adopters and students
  • Includes a new chapter on Genes and Molecules of Cognition
  • Student Solutions available at

For Teachers:

  • Rapid adoption and course preparation: A wide array of instructor support materials are available online including PowerPoint lecture slides, a test bank with answers, and eFlashcords on key concepts for each chapter.
  • A textbook with an easy-to-understand thematic approach: in a way that is clear for students from a variety of academic backgrounds, the text introduces concepts such as working memory, selective attention, and social cognition.
  • A step-by-step guide for introducing students to brain anatomy: color graphics have been carefully selected to illustrate all points and the research explained. Beautifully clear artist's drawings are used to 'build a brain' from top to bottom, simplifying the layout of the brain.

For students:

  • An easy-to-read, complete introduction to mind-brain science: all chapters begin from mind-brain functions and build a coherent picture of their brain basis. A single, widely accepted functional framework is used to capture the major phenomena.
  • Learning Aids include a student support site with study guides and exercises, a new Mini-Atlas of the Brain and a full Glossary of technical terms and their definitions.
  • Richly illustrated with hundreds of carefully selected color graphics to enhance understanding.


Undergraduate and graduate students in Psychology, Neuroscience, and related disciplines in which cognitive neuroscience is taught.

Table of Contents

Preface Chapter 1 Mind and brain     1.0 Introduction     2.0 An invitation to mind-brain science     3.0 Some starting points 4          3.1 Distance: seven orders of magnitude          3.2 Time: ten orders of magnitude          3.3 The need to make inferences – going beyond the raw observations          3.4 The importance of convergent measures          3.5 Major landmarks of the brain     4.0 Some history, and ongoing debates          4.1 The mind and the brain          4.2 Biology shapes cognition and emotion          4.3 Cajal’s neuron doctrine: the working assumption of brain science          4.4 Pierre-Paul Broca and the localization of speech production          4.5 The conscious and unconscious mind     5.0 The return of consciousness in the sciences          5.1 How conscious and unconscious brain events are studied today          5.2 History hasn’t stopped     6.0 Summary     7.0 End of chapter exercises          7.1 Study questions          7.2 Drawing exercise Chapter 2 A framework     1.0 Introduction     2.0 Classical working memory          2.1 The ‘inner senses’          2.2 Output functions          2.3 Only a fleeting moment          2.4 Understanding Clive Wearing in the functional framework          2.5 The importance of immediate memory     3.0 Limited and large-capacity functions          3.1 Dual task limits          3.2 Some very large brain capacities          3.3 Why are there such narrow capacity limits?          3.4 Measuring working memory     4.0 The inner and outer senses          4.1 The mind’s eye, ear, and voice          4.2 The imagery sketchpad may use visual regions of cortex          4.3 Is inner speech like outer speech?          4.4 Is there only one working memory?     5.0 The central executive          5.1 Executive effort and automaticity          5.2 Executive and spontaneous attention     6.0 Action     7.0 Consolidation of short-term events into long-term memory          7.1


No. of pages:
© 2010
Academic Press
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the authors

Bernard Baars

Affiliations and Expertise

The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, CA, USA

Nicole Gage

Affiliations and Expertise

University of California, Irvine, CA, USA


"This extremely exciting book provides the reader the necessary basic information to appreciate how the traditional separation between the mind and the brain is nowadays challenged by the nomological network generated by the careful observation of the biological–neurological events and the related cognitive inferred concepts. Indeed, even though the ancient debate mind versus body has never ceased to be a subject of discussion by scientists and philosophers, currently it has become again a productive and stimulating scientific question, mainly because of the availability of functional neuroimaging techniques that has attracted the convergent interest of biologists, neuroscientists, and psychologists…this second edition looks quite appealing and the editors should be very proud of it. The numerous elegant and very instructive colored figures and schemas as well as the quality of printing enrich the "charme" of this book, which certainly deserves to be suggested to anyone interested in a better insight on the neurological, emotional, and cognitive processes of our brain."--Childs Nerv Syst (2020) 26:1251