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The Prefrontal Cortex


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A thorough update of the undisputed classic on the prefrontal cortex, presenting an interdisciplinary perspective that is lacking in other volumes written on the frontal lobes

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About the Author

Dr. Joaquin M. Fuster was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1930. Studied medicine at the University of Barcelona. In Barcelona and Innsbruck (Austria), he specialized in psychiatry. In 1957 Fuster emigrated to the United States for a career in neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1962-64, he worked as a visiting scientist at the Max-Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich. He received his PhD. in neuroscience at the University of Granada, Spain. Dr. Fuster is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and a member of the Brain Research Institute and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the UCLA's School of Medicine. Dr. Fuster's major honors and awards include: the title of Member of Honor of the Spanish Royal Academy of Medicine (1997); Signoret Prize (Universite de La Sorbonne, Paris) (2000); Fyssen International Science Prize (2000); Doctor Honoris Causa, Universidad Miguel Hernandez, Alicante, Spain (2003); Goldman-Rakic Prize for Cognitive Neuroscience (NARSAD) (2006); George Miller Prize of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (2006); Doctor Honoris Causa, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (2008); Geschwind Lecturer, Harvard University (2009); Woolsey Lecturer, University of Wisconsin (2010); Elected Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2010); Segerfalk Lecturer, University of Lund, Sweden (2010); Doctor Honoris Causa, Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala (2014). Dr. Fuster is the author of more than 200 articles and 8 books.


"Joaquin Fuster is one of the leading scientists in the field of cognitive neuroscience. He is famous not only for his discovery of `memory cells' in the frontal lobe of the monkey, but also for his excellent books. Among them the most famous and influential is `The Prefrontal Cortex'. I remember the first edition of it back in 1980. It was a mere intellectual pleasure reading it. The book reviewed an amazing amount of data from anatomy, ontogeny, and physiology to the effect of lesions on innate and conditioned behavior and synthesized them in a coherent theory. In this new completely re-written edition of the book, Fuster has been able to repeat the enterprise. In spite of the enormous amount of new data, many coming from the rather messy field of brain imaging, he has been able to review them and put them in a clear theoretical frame. I am sure the new generation of neuroscientists will be influenced by this book in the same way as I was more than 20 years ago and will receive, by reading it, the same intellectual pleasure." - Giacomo Rizzolatti, Professor of Human Physiology, Department of Neuroscience, Section of Physiology, University of Parma, Italy "Once again, Dr. Fuster, the world's pre-eminent expert on the frontal lobes, has delivered an instant classic that should be read by everyone interested in understanding the link between brain and behavior." - Mark D'Esposito, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, Director, Henry H. Wheeler Jr. Brain Imaging Center, University of California, Berkeley, USA "The frontal lobe serves the highest cognitive functions of the brain, including symbolic representation of the world, decision making, and planning for the future. Arguably, the enormous development of these functions distinguishes the human from other species. Joaquin Fuster has devoted his life to studying the many complex roles of the frontal cortex in behavior and cognition. This book is the product of his efforts to make these issues comprehensible in an exciting and fast-growing field. Even it you possess earlier editions of his book you should also have this one to stay informed about the brain structure that makes us human. For that, this vastly updated edition is a must-have, whether you are a specialist or not." - Pasko Rakic, Chairman, Department of Neurobiology, and Director, Kavli Institute for Neuroscience, Yale Medical School, USA "The Prefrontal Cortex is a classic, and the classic has just been updated, expanded and thought anew, with the depth and wisdom that characterize Fuster's work. As before, this is an indispensable volume for neuroscientists." - Antonio Damasio, Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and Director, Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California, USA "The frontal lobes are central to cognitive neuroscience. The revision of this important volume provides the crucial background needed to grasp their role. In a final chapter Fuster brings together all that is known by emphasizing the temporal course of brain networks in a way which serves to illuminate action, consciousness and free will." - Michael I. Posner, Professor, Department of Psychology, Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences, University of Oregon, USA "The Prefrontal Cortex is not only a classic, but also an essential book for anyone interested in higher brain function. One might think there's nothing left to say but Fuster proves that wrong. The fourth edition is fresh and vibrant, and itself essential, destined to be a classic in its own right." - Joseph LeDoux, University Professor, New York University, USA, and author of The Emotional Brain and Synaptic Self "A classic that has graced the library of many of us since its first edition appeared 28 years ago now returns, splendidly updated. As a result this book will continue to be the go-to reference on the prefrontal cortex as we strive to understand more fully its critical role in brain function." - Marcus E. Raichle, Professor of Radiology and Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, USA "This is a superb, fresh, in-depth, review of one of the most complex and fascinating topics in cognitive neuroscience. In this, the latest edition of his excellent book, Fuster further substantiates the general proposition that the prefrontal cortex serves the organization of goal-directed actions in the most human of all action domains. Based on a wealth of recent empirical evidence, he places the temporal integrative functions of the frontal lobe-including working memory and planning--at the summit of the perception-action cycle. There, with access to myriad signals from the internal and external milieus, the prefrontal cortex attends to the orderly pursuit of rational, linguistic, and social goals. It is a must read for all interested in neuroscience" - Richard Thompson, William M. Keck Chair in Biological Sciences and Professor of Psychology and Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

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