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The Human Nervous System - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780123742360, 9780080921303

The Human Nervous System

3rd Edition

Editors: Juergen Mai George Paxinos
eBook ISBN: 9780080921303
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123742360
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 14th November 2011
Page Count: 1428
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The previous two editions of the Human Nervous System have been the standard reference for the anatomy of the central and peripheral nervous system of the human. The work has attracted nearly 2,000 citations, demonstrating that it has a major influence in the field of neuroscience. The 3e is a complete and updated revision, with new chapters covering genes and anatomy, gene expression studies, and glia cells. The book continues to be an excellent companion to the Atlas of the Human Brain, and a common nomenclature throughout the book is enforced. Physiological data, functional concepts, and correlates to the neuroanatomy of the major model systems (rat and mouse) as well as brain function round out the new edition.

Key Features

  • Adopts standard nomenclature following the new scheme by Paxinos, Watson, and Puelles and aligned with the Mai et al. Atlas of the Human Brain (new edition in 2007)
  • Full color throughout with many new and significantly enhanced illustrations
  • Provides essential reference information for users in conjunction with brain atlases for the identification of brain structures, the connectivity between different areas, and to evaluate data collected in anatomical, physiological, pharmacological, behavioral, and imaging studies


Neuroscientists, neurologists, and neuropsychologists working on brain anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, behavior, or neurological disease

Table of Contents





I. Evolution and development

Chapter 1. Brain Evolution

The Human Brain as an Outlier

The Human Brain in Numbers

Cerebral Cortex and Connectivity

Concerted Expansion of Cerebral Cortex and Cerebellum

Human Brain Evolution: Comparison with Great Apes

Hominin Evolution: Estimates of Numbers of Brain Neurons in Prehistoric Homo

Human Brain Metabolism Revisited

Conclusion: Remarkable, Yet not Extraordinary

Chapter 2. Development of the Peripheral Nervous System

Cranial Nerves

Somatic Peripheral Nervous System

Autonomic and Enteric Nervous System

Chapter 3. Fetal Development of the Central Nervous System

Cerebral Cortex

Deep Telencephalic Nuclei



Cerebellum and Pre-Cerebellar Nuclei

Pons and Medulla

Spinal Cord

II. Peripheral nervous system and spinal cord

Chapter 4. Peripheral Nervous System Topics




Dorsal Root Ganglion and the Pseudo-Unipolar Neurons

Schwann Cells, Satellite Cells, and Mast Cells

Nerve Fibers


Proprioception and Endplates

Peripheral Nervous System Engineering

Chapter 5. Peripheral Autonomic Pathways

General Organization of Autonomic Pathways

Cranial Autonomic Pathways

Sympathetic Pathways

Pelvic Autonomic Pathways

Enteric Plexuses

Adrenal Medulla and Paraganglia

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 6. Spinal Cord: Regional Anatomy, Cytoarchitecture and Chemoarchitecture

Cytoarchitecture of the Human Spinal Cord

Chemoarchitecture of the Human Spinal Cord


Chapter 7. Spinal Cord: Connections

Primary Afferent Projections to the Spinal Cord

Propriospinal Pathways

Ascending Spinal Projections

Descending Spinal Projections

Descending Brainstem Projections

Projections from the Retroambiguus Nucleus to the Spinal Cord

Hypothalamic and Diencephalic Projections to the Spinal Cord

Coeruleospinal and Raphespinal Tracts

Other Descending Projections from the Trigeminal and Dorsal Column Nuclei

Cerebellospinal Projections


III. Brainstem and cerebellum

Chapter 8. Organization of Brainstem Nuclei

Abbreviations Used in the Figures

Autonomic Regulatory Centers

Reticular Formation

Tegmental Nuclei

Locus Coeruleus

Raphe Nuclei

Ventral Mesencephalic Tegmentum and Substantia Nigra

Cranial Motor Nuclei

Somatosensory System

Vestibular Nuclei

Auditory System

Visual System

Precerebellar Nuclei and Red Nucleus



Chapter 9. Reticular Formation


Eye and Head Movements

Eyelid and Blink

Chapter 10. Periaqueductal Gray

External Boundaries of the PAG

Internal Boundaries of the PAG

Chemoarchitecture of the Primate PAG

Connectivity of the Primate PAG

Functional Aspects


Chapter 11. Raphe Nuclei

Divisions of the Raphe Nuclei


Functional Considerations


Chapter 12. Locus Coeruleus


Development and Topographical Organization

Morphology and Neurochemistry of LC Neurons

Functional Connectivity

Physiology and Behavior

LC Involvement in the Pathophysiology of Age-Related Neurologic Disease


Chapter 13. Substantia Nigra, Ventral Tegmental Area, and Retrorubral Fields


Substantia Nigra

Ventral Tegmental Area

Retrorubral Fields

Functional Connections


Chapter 14. Brainstem Cholinergic Systems


Cholinergic Neurons of the Brainstem Reticular Formation

Cytochemical Signatures

Axonal Targets

Postsynaptic Effects

Functional Affiliations

Summary and Conclusions


Anatomical Abbreviations

Chapter 15. Cerebellum and Precerebellar Nuclei


External Form and Subdivision of the Human Cerebellum

The Cerebellar Cortex

The Cerebellar Nuclei

The Cerebellar Peduncles

The Corticonuclear Projection

The Inferior Olive and the Olivocerebellar Projection

Zonal Organization of the Primate Cerebellar Cortex

Brainstem and Thalamo-Cortical Projections of the Cerebellar Nuclei Recurrent Cerebello-Olivary Loops

The Distribution of Mossy Fiber Systems

The Skeletomotor Cerebellum

The Oculomotor Cerebellum

Non-Motor Functions of the Cerebellum

Phylogenetic and Functional Subdivisions of the Cerebellum and their Somatotopical Organization

IV. Diencephalon, basal ganglia, basal forebrain and amygdala

Chapter 16. Hypothalamus

Cytoarchitecture of the Human Hypothalamus

Fiber Connections of the Hypothalamus

Functional Organization of the Hypothalamus

Chapter 17. Hypophysis


Anatomy of the Hypophysis

Imaging of the Hypophysis



Chapter 18. Circumventricular Organs

General Characteristics of Circumventricular Organs

Subfornical Organ

Vascular Organ of the Lamina Terminalis (OVLT)

Median Eminence and Neurohypophysis

Pineal Gland

The Subcommissural Organ

Area Postrema

Choroid Plexus

Chapter 19. Thalamus


Superior Region

Medial Region

Lateral Region

Intralaminar Formation

Periventricular Formation

Posterior Region

Dedication and Acknowledgments

Chapter 20. The Basal Ganglia


Topography, Cytoarchitecture, and Basic Circuitry

Functional Basal Ganglia Connections

Functional Considerations


Chapter 21. Sex Differences in the Forebrain


Sex Hormone Receptors

Nucleus Basalis of Meynert (NBM) and Diagonal Band of Broca (DB)

Islands of Calleja (Insulae Terminalis)

Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN)

Sexually Dimorphic Nucleus of the Preoptic Area (SDN-POA)

Interstitial Nucleus of Anterior Hypothalamus INAH-3 and INAH-4, or Uncinate Nucleus

Anterior Commissure and Interthalamic Adhesion or Massa Intermedia

Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis (BST)

Supraoptic and Paraventricular Nucleus (SON, PVN)

The Ventromedial Nucleus (VMH; Nucleus of Cajal)

Infundibular Nucleus (Arcuate Nucleus), Subventricular Nucleus, and Median Eminence

Tuberomamilary Nucleus (TMN)

Corpora Mamillaria



Abbreviations used in the Figures

Chapter 22. Amygdala

Definition of the Amygdala and Overview of Terminology


Anatomical Divisions


Abbreviations (including Figures and Tables)

V. Cortex

Chapter 23. Architecture of the Cerebral Cortex

Principal Subdivisions of the Cerebral Cortex

Quantitative Aspects of the Cerebral Cortex and Gender Differences

Asymmetries in the Cerebral Cortex




Cortical Maps of the Human Brain: Past, Present, Future

Chapter 24. Hippocampal Formation

Gross Anatomical Features

Cytoarchitectonic Organization of the Hippocampal Formation

Hippocampal Connectivity

A Note on the Development of the Human Hippocampal Formation

Clinical Anatomy

Functional Considerations


Chapter 25. Cingulate Cortex


The Four-Region Neurobiological Model: Circuitry

Anterior Cingulate Cortex: Autonomic Regulation and Emotion

Midcingulate Cortex

Posterior Cingulate Cortex; Dorsal and Ventral Subregions

Retrosplenial Cortex Functions

Limbic Functions of Cingulate Subregions

Medial Surface Features

Flat Maps of Primate Medial Cortex

Cytology of Anterior Cingulate Cortex

Cytology of Midcingulate Cortex

Ectocallosal, Ectosplenial, and Retrosplenial Cortices

Posterior Cingulate Cortex

Caudomedial Subregion

The Cingulate Dysgranular Belt

Overview of Receptor Binding by Region and Layer

Some Comparative Features of Human and Monkey

Anterior Cingulate Cortex

Midcingulate Cortex

Retrosplenial Cortex

Posterior Cingulate Cortex

Is all Cortex in the Monkey Cingulate Sulcus Cingulate Cortex?

Perspectives on Human Imaging of Cingulate Cortex Structure and Functions


Chapter 26. The Frontal Cortex

Sulcal and Gyral Morphology of the Frontal Cortex

Architectonic Organization

Corticocortical Connection Patterns


Chapter 27. Motor Cortex


Macaque Motor Cortex

Human Motor Cortex

Concluding Remarks

Chapter 28. Posterior Parietal Cortex

Macroanatomy of Posterior Parietal Cortex

Architectonical Organization

Functional Segregation

Connectivity Pattern



VI. Systems

Chapter 29. Lower Brainstem Regulation of Visceral, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory Function


Classification of Brainstem Neuronal Groups

Cardiovascular Function

Respiratory Function

Salivation, Swallowing and Gastrointestinal Function, Nausea, and Vomiting

Lower Brainstem Regulation of Pituitary Vasopressin and ACTH Secretion

Lower Brainstem Regulation of Pelvic Viscera

Involvement of Putative Brainstem Autonomic and Respiratory Neurons in Human Neurodegenerative Disease


Chapter 30. Somatosensory System


Receptor Types and Afferent Pathways

Relay Nuclei of the Medulla and Upper Spinal Cord

Somatosensory Regions of the Midbrain

Somatosensory Thalamus

Anterior Parietal Cortex

Somatosensory Cortex of the Lateral (Sylvian) Sulcus Including Insula

Posterior Parietal Cortex

Somatosensory Cortex of the Medial Wall: The Supplementary Sensory Area and Cingulate Cortex

Chapter 31. Trigeminal Sensory System


Receptors and their Innervation

Trigeminal Nerves, Ganglion, and Root

Brainstem Trigeminal Sensory Nuclei

Pain Perception in the Trigeminal Pathway

Thalamic Sites for Trigeminal Somatic Sensations

Cranial Somatosensory Cortex

Plasticity of Trigeminal Responses

Chapter 32. Pain System


Pain Transmission Neurons and Pathways

Descending Pain Modulatory Systems

Brain Structures Involved in Pain Perception and Integration

Summary and Conclusions

Chapter 33. Gustatory System


Gustatory Apparatus and Peripheral Innervation

The Central Nervous System

Further Gustatory Processing



Chapter 34. The Olfactory System


The Olfactory System

Olfactory Mucosa

The Vomeronasal Organ

Olfactory Bulb

Primary Olfactory Cortex

Piriform Cortex

Accessory Olfactory Cortical Areas

Olfactory Projections Beyond the Primary Olfactory Cortex

Human Imaging of Olfactory Sensory Activity

Chapter 35. The Vestibular System


Regional Anatomy of the Vestibular System

Systems Anatomy


Chapter 36. Auditory System

Sensory Organ and Cochlear Nerve


Auditory Cortex

Connectional Structure of the Auditory System

Structural Asymmetry and Functional Lateralization

The Concept of Wernicke’s Region

Chapter 37. Visual System

Central Visual Pathway

Primary Visual Cortex

Extrastriate Cortex


Chapter 38. The Emotional Systems

Emotions Defined, and an Anatomical Framework

The Orbitofrontal Cortex

The Amygdala

The Pregenual Cingulate Cortex

Beyond the Orbitofrontal Cortex to Choice Decision-Making


Chapter 39. Cerebral Vascular System


Anatomy of Cerebral Blood Vessels

Anatomy of Spinal Cord Blood Vessels

Vascular Innervation

Mapping Cerebral Function with Blood Flow

Global Responses of the Cerebral Circulation



No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2011
14th November 2011
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
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About the Editors

Juergen Mai

Jürgen Konrad Mai studied medicine in Freiburg, Germany, Vienna and UT Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, U.S.A. Student and Medical practices in Freiburg (Clinic for Neurosurgery), Berlin and Düsseldorf. Dissertation ("summa cum laude") and habilitation were awarded by the University of Düsseldorf: After a period as GP in private practice (Titisee-Neustadt) he became scientific assistant and senior assistant at the C. and O. Vogt-Institute for Brain Research, University of Düsseldorf (1972 - 1983) and 1983 Professor of Neuroanatomy at the Institute of Neuroanatomy, H.-Heine-University of Düsseldorf. He served as director of the Department of the Institute of Anatomy 1 until retirement in 2011.

The main research interests are (i) the structural and molecular anatomy of the mammalian brain, especially of the human brain and (ii) expression patterns and regulation of terminal carbohydrates in development, cell activation and disease (III) operation planning in stereotactic neurosurgery. He works on a "Digital Brain Atlas for Planning and Interindividual Registration of Targets in Deep Brain Stimulation" and on a "Spatial Information Management Resource for the Human Brain". J. K. Mai has edited the catalogue of human brain sections from the Vogt collection; he is author and editor of several books, e.g. the awarded "Atlas of the Human Brain" with CD-ROM (Academic Press/Elsevier, San Diego), "The Human Nervous System" (Academic Press/Elsevier, San Diego, Amsterdam, 3rd ed. 2012), Funktionelle Anatomie für Zahnmediziner (Quintessenz, Berlin, 2nd. ed. 2008; Sensi Divini (ital., engl., ger, russ. eds). J. K. Mai is CEO of MR-X-Brain GmbH.

Affiliations and Expertise

Institute of Anatomy I, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany

George Paxinos

George Paxinos

Professor George Paxinos, AO (BA, MA, PhD, DSc) completed his BA at The University of California at Berkeley, his PhD at McGill University, and spent a postdoctoral year at Yale University. He is the author of almost 50 books on the structure of the brain of humans and experimental animals, including The Rat Brain in Stereotaxic Coordinates, now in its 7th Edition, which is ranked by Thomson ISI as one of the 50 most cited items in the Web of Science. Dr. Paxinos paved the way for future neuroscience research by being the first to produce a three-dimensional (stereotaxic) framework for placement of electrodes and injections in the brain of experimental animals, which is now used as an international standard. He was a member of the first International Consortium for Brain Mapping, a UCLA based consortium that received the top ranking and was funded by the NIMH led Human Brain Project. Dr. Paxinos has been honored with more than nine distinguished awards throughout his years of research, including: The Warner Brown Memorial Prize (University of California at Berkeley, 1968), The Walter Burfitt Prize (1992), The Award for Excellence in Publishing in Medical Science (Assoc Amer Publishers, 1999), The Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research (2001), The Alexander von Humbolt Foundation Prize (Germany 2004), and more.

Affiliations and Expertise

Neuroscience Research Australia and The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Ratings and Reviews