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Survey of Functional Neuroanatomy. Third Edition.

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    Survey of Functional Neuroanatomy. Third Edition. By bill garoutte (Pp 224; price $15.00). California: Mill Valley Medical Publishers, 1994. ISBN 0-9643644-0-9.

    It is not uncommon to find neuroanatomy books that bewilder the uninitiated undergraduate, or clinician for that matter. It is therefore refreshing to find that this book by Garoutte confronts this issue and makes it an understandable text. The key to all learning lies in starting from the basics and dealing with concepts, which makes hanging details on a lot easier. This book assumes a negligible background in neuroscience and starts from the fundamentals of descriptive neuroanatomy of the human nervous system through to its embryology and some aspects of its pathology. Importantly, it does not deal with the anatomy in isolation and makes enough reference to physiology to put the topic into perspective making it more functionally relevant than most of its contemporaries.

    The use of enormous numbers of diagrams has meant that the text is a bare minimum with most of the information in illustrated form making it easier to assimilate. In using this idea it seems that one or two diagrams have become rather too complicated and they are very difficult to interpret. The clinical cases are a little uninspiring and could have been used to create a lot more enthusiasm. However, the questions at the end of the topics are a useful adjunct to test ones understanding of the subject and could be exploited usefully by those teaching neuroanatomy.

    Overall the beauty of this book is to make it simple enough for the most ignorant of students but yet enough detail is present in it for it to be an ideal crammer for undergraduates coming up to examinationss. The price makes it very affordable and I recommend it highly.

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