EDUCATION: Around the Brain in 20 Minutes

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Science  21 Apr 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5772, pp. 343
DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5772.343d

Cocaine occludes the molecular pumps that clear dopamine and other neurotransmitters from brain synapses. As a result, the molecular signals jolt neurons again and again, producing euphoria. Students can learn more about how drugs tamper with synapses, how memory works, and other topics at The Brain From Top to Bottom, created by neuroscientist Bruno Dubuc of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The primer's eight chapters, which come in three levels of difficulty, explore not only the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind brain functions but also their psychological and social ramifications. In the pleasure and pain section, for example, you can step back for an overview of philosophers' thinking about these two sensory extremes.

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