Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The fourth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biologic underpinnings of complex cognition — the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the nervous system and the psychological reality of the mind. The material in this edition is entirely new, with all chapters written specifically for it.

Since the publication of the third edition, the field of cognitive neuroscience has made rapid and dramatic advances; fundamental stances are changing and new ideas are emerging. This edition reflects the vibrancy of the field, with research in development and evolution that finds a dynamic growth pattern becoming specific and fixed, and research in plasticity that sees the neuronal systems always changing; exciting new empirical evidence on attention that also verifies many central tenets of longstanding theories; work that shows the boundaries of the motor system pushed further into cognition; memory research that, paradoxically, provides insight into how humans imagine future events; pioneering theoretical and methodological work in vision; new findings on how genes and experience shape the language faculty; new ideas about how the emotional brain develops and operates; and research on consciousness that ranges from a novel mechanism for how the brain generates the baseline activity necessary to sustain conscious experience to a bold theoretical attempt to make the problem of qualia more tractable.