Electrical Stimulation as a “Window on the Brain”

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(3), 163–164. Reviews the book, Drives and Reinforcements: Behavioral Studies of Hypothalamic Functions by James Olds (1977). In this book, the author attempts to provide a coherent theory of the neural mechanisms of drives and reinforcements. The book begins with a foreword by Neal E. Miller describing the author's discovery of the reinforcing properties of electrical brain stimulation and the research advances made by Olds in collaboration with his wife, Marianne Olds. The author uses the introduction to present and describe the procedures and logic of electrical brain stimulation as a “window on the brain”. The style of this book gives one the impression that the author is speaking, rather than writing, to his audience. This style makes the book easy to read and it has a unique personal touch. At no extra cost, we get a look at the scientific development of a man that exemplifies the scientific endeavor. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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