Catalogue

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Your brain on food [electronic resource] : how chemicals control your thoughts and feelings /
Gary L. Wenk.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
description
xiii, 179 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0195388542, 9780195388541
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
isbn
0195388542
9780195388541
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Introduction : food, drugs, and you -- Memories, magic, & a major addiction -- Euphoria, depression, & madness -- Your brain's anchor to reality -- Marijuana in the brain -- Simple molecules that turn you on and off -- Sleeping versus waking -- Remnants of an ancient past -- Brain enhancement and other magical beliefs -- A little quiz.
catalogue key
8106375
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 169-170) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-07-01:
Wenk (Ohio State) has crafted a fascinating introduction to the effects of drugs and nutrients on the functioning of the brain and on subsequent behavior and well-being. This succinct primer engagingly explores the fundamental concepts of pharmacology and neuroscience, the workings of the nervous system, and neurotransmitters and their role in health and disease. Readers are treated to historical and literary references that enliven and illuminate the effects on neurotransmitters of a variety of plant products, including nuts, mushrooms, spices, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, botulinum toxin, curare, marijuana, and other medicinal and recreational drugs. The author leads readers through a tantalizing treatise on the role of neuroscience in hallucinations, religion, pain, and aging. Suggested readings, but no citations, are provided for those who are sufficiently intrigued to delve further into these topics. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. A. P. Boyar CUNY Herbert H. Lehman College
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2010-06-28:
In clear, accessible prose, Wenk, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Ohio State, offers explanations for basic brain functions while exploring how different classes of food and drugs affect those functions. "By the end of the book.you will be able to predict how substances I did not discuss, and those that have not even been invented yet, might also affect your brain." He succeeds in this important and difficult task by focusing on the big picture. He begins with readable and concise explanations of brain anatomy and then moves on to explain how various neurotransmitters (such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and norepinephrine) can act to stimulate or depress brain function. Along the way, Wenk addresses a host of fascinating topics, such as possible treatments for Alzheimer's disease, why the same drug can have opposite effects in high versus low doses, and why addiction is so difficult to overcome. He also discusses why virtually all of the over-the-counter supplements enhancing brain function are useless. The book, both enjoyable and informative, will stimulate readers' brains. 30 b&w photos, 30 b&w illus. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
"An absolutely fascinating read (or book) peppered with gems of surprising information on how certain foods, plants, nicotine and drugs (legal and illegal) alter the very essence of your brain cells' functioning and thus your behavior and mood. Don't deprive yourself of the pleasure of reading it." --Jean Carper, author of Your Miracle Brain and 100 Simple Things You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss ." Your Brain on Food provides ample and important food for thought in a delightfully written reader-friendly style. Kernels of history sprinkled throughout the book provide both interest and insight into how our appetites influence our brains and, and thus, our thoughts and actions. Gary Wenk has provided a compelling and much-needed antidote to commonly available misinformation about nutrients and brain function. Readers will be richly informed--as well as entertained." --James L. McGaugh, Research Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine"All of us are impacted by a bewildering array of psychoactive drugs and foods, some being agents of abuse and others being of importance in treating disease. Gary Wenk, a nationally eminent neuroscientist, provides a gripping account of the neurotransmitters that enable neurons in the brain to talk to each other and shows how drugs as well as substances derived from foods exert their psychoactive influences. Wenk has a gift for making complex concepts crystal clear and relating seemingly arcane science in a fascinating, lucid fashion--as gripping as a detective story. This is an invaluable book for anyone who is curious about the brain and its functions." --Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University
"An absolutely fascinating read (or book) peppered with gems of surprising information on how certain foods, plants, nicotine and drugs (legal and illegal) alter the very essence of your brain cells' functioning and thus your behavior and mood. Don't deprive yourself of the pleasure of reading it." --Jean Carper, author ofYour Miracle Brainand100 Simple Things You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss. "Your Brain on Foodprovides ample and important food for thought in a delightfully written reader-friendly style. Kernels of history sprinkled throughout the book provide both interest and insight into how our appetites influence our brains and, and thus, our thoughts and actions. Gary Wenk has provided a compelling and much-needed antidote to commonly available misinformation about nutrients and brain function. Readers will be richly informed--as well as entertained." --James L. McGaugh, Research Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine "All of us are impacted by a bewildering array of psychoactive drugs and foods, some being agents of abuse and others being of importance in treating disease. Gary Wenk, a nationally eminent neuroscientist, provides a gripping account of the neurotransmitters that enable neurons in the brain to talk to each other and shows how drugs as well as substances derived from foods exert their psychoactive influences. Wenk has a gift for making complex concepts crystal clear and relating seemingly arcane science in a fascinating, lucid fashion--as gripping as a detective story. This is an invaluable book for anyone who is curious about the brain and its functions." --Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, June 2010
Choice, July 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Why is eating chocolate so pleasurable? Can the function of just one small group of chemicals really determine whether you are happy or sad? Wenk demonstrates how, as a result of their effects on certain neurotransmitters concerned with behaviour, everything we put into our bodies has direct consequences for how we think, feel, and act.
Main Description
Why is eating chocolate so pleasurable? Can the function of just one small group of chemicals really determine whether you are happy or sad? Does marijuana help to improve your memory in old age? Is it really best to drink coffee if you want to wake up and be alert? Why is a drug like PCP potentially lethal? Why does drinking alcohol make you drowsy? Do cigarettes help relieve anxiety? Can eating less food preserve your brain? What are the possible side effects of pills that claim to make you smarter? Why is it so hard to stop smoking? Why did witches once believe that they could fly? In this book, Gary Wenk demonstrates how, as a result of their effects on certain neurotransmitters concerned with behavior, everything we put into our bodies has direct consequences for how we think, feel, and act. The chapters introduce each of the main neurotransmitters involved with behavior, discuss its role in the brain, and explain ways to influence it through what we consume.
Main Description
Why is eating chocolate so pleasurable? Can the function of just one small group of chemicals really determine whether you are happy or sad? Does marijuana help to improve your memory in old age? Is it really best to drink coffee if you want to wake up and be alert? Why is a drug like PCPpotentially lethal? Why does drinking alcohol make you drowsy? Do cigarettes help relieve anxiety? Can eating less food preserve your brain? What are the possible side effects of pills that claim to make you smarter? Why is it so hard to stop smoking? Why did witches once believe that they couldfly? In this book, Gary Wenk demonstrates how, as a result of their effects on certain neurotransmitters concerned with behavior, everything we put into our bodies has direct consequences for how we think, feel, and act. The chapters introduce each of the main neurotransmitters involved withbehavior, discuss its role in the brain, and explain ways to influence it through what we consume.
Main Description
Why is eating chocolate so pleasurable? Can the function of just one small group of chemicals really determine whether you are happy or sad? Does marijuana help to improve your memory in old age? Is it really best to drink coffee if you want to wake up and be alert? Why is a drug like PCP potentially lethal? Why does drinking alcohol make you drowsy? Do cigarettes help to relieve anxiety? What should you consume if you are having trouble staying in your chair and focusing enough to get your work done? Why do treatments for the common cold make us drowsy? Can eating less food preserve your brain? What are the possible side effects of pills that claim to make your smarter? Why is it so hard to stop smoking? Why did witches once believe that they could fly? In this book, Gary Wenk demonstrates how, as a result of their effects on certain neurotransmitters concerned with behavior, everything we put into our bodies has very direct consequences for how we think, feel, and act. The chapters introduce each of the main neurotransmitters involved with behavior, discuss its role in the brain, present some background on how it is generally turned on and off, and explain ways to influence it through what we consume.
Table of Contents
Preface
Introduction, Basic Principles
Really Basic Neuroscience
Acetylcholine
Catecholamines
Serotonin
Marijuana in the Brain
Simple Molecules and Salts
Histamine & Adenosine: Sleeping vs. waking
Neuropeptides
The Myth of Cognitive Enhancement
Brain Aging and Oxygen
Suggested Readings
Index of terms
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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