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13 Neuroscience books for beginners (highly recommended)

13 Neuroscience books for beginners (highly recommended)

May 9, 2021

The neurosciences they are a tremendously fruitful field of study that, in addition, addresses many topics of our day to day. The point that unites these issues is always the same: they are based on the functioning of our brain, the nervous system in general, and its interaction with the rest of the human body.

Of course, The neurosciences are also closely related to psychology , since the mental processes are carried out by the brain. So, for all lovers of the study of human behavior, we present a selection of 10 neuroscience books to start learning about the human mind.

Neuroscience books to begin in the study of the mind

Below you will find a selection of recommended books to start in the study of neurosciences


1. The ethical brain, by Michael Gazzaniga

This is one of the most famous neuroscience books written by Michael Gazzaniga , and it is not hard to imagine the reason. In it, while reviewing the general functioning of the human brain, it explains how it can explain our morality and ethics, something that influences us completely in our day to day and in the way in which we relate to others.

Being Gazzaniga a great popularizer, he manages to make readers easily navigate through quite complex topics that have to do with biology and medicine.

  • You can buy it through this link.


2. The error of Descartes, by António Damásio

Possibly the most famous book by the Portuguese neurologist António Damásio , which has quickly become a classic among books on neuroscience. It explores the question of the relationship between the mind and the body.

Is it true that this distinction exists, or is the mind actually part of the human organism like bones or flesh?

  • Buy it here

3. The secret life of the mind, by Mariano Sigman

This book brings together neuroscience and experimental psychology to give a global picture of how the brain works and other structures of the nervous system.

Although as a book on neuroscience it presents a great amount of information and all kinds of data, all of them are oriented to answer questions that have to do with the day to day and the way in which we experience life in its different aspects.


  • You can buy it here.

4. The man who confused his wife with a hat, by Oliver Sacks

One of the most well-known works of the neurologist Oliver Sacks, and also one of the most interesting when familiarizing himself with his work. Through very accessible and easy to read texts, ORliver Sacks tells stories about people who have been changed by a change in brain function .

It is, therefore, a set of writings that talk about case studies, and not so much about general statistics about how the human mind usually works, which means that in the man who confused his wife with a hat has a series of protagonists with whom it is impossible not to empathize. A human touch that is not very frequent to find in neuroscience books, and that is appreciated.

  • You can buy it through this link.

5. Ghosts in the brain, by V. S. Ramachandran and S. Blakeslee

Vilayanur S. Ramachandran is a well-known researcher following his research on phantom limbs, and in this book he offers an excellent compendium about what we know about the brain and the nervous system.

One of the neuroscience books most suitable for people who want to start on the subject.

  • It is a discontinued book, but you can learn more about this work here.

6. In search of memory, by Eric Kandel

Eric Kandel is one of the most reputable scientists in the field of neurophysiology , and in this book he explores one of the topics he has studied the most: memory, the element of our mind that makes us maintain our own identity and understand our life as a narrative.

It is one of the most complete books of neurosciences and it also includes different discoveries related to all types of cognitive sciences.

  • You can buy it here.

7. Brain and freedom, by Joaquín M. Fuster

Is our brain a machine? Is there something in us that gives us the ability to choose freely? This is a book on neuroscience, yes, but very related to philosophy, and therefore it addresses questions that directly affect our conception of what is the human being.

A work especially interesting for people interested in natural sciences as well as philosophy and letters.

  • If you want to buy it, you can do it through this link.

8. The new brain map, by Rita Carter

This is an excellent illustrated guide on the brain and all the structures that compose it . It shows some significant discoveries about the brains of some people with disorders and even the differences between man and woman at the neuroanatomical level.

One of the most recommended neuroscience books for those people who like to learn through the visual.

  • Buy it here

9. The executive brain, by Elkhonon Goldberg

Among the functions that take place in our brain, there are some that are specific to human beings . The ability to think long term, to use language, plan complex tasks and make decisions by choosing from an almost infinite number of options.

And it turns out, in addition, that in all these processes there is a part of the nervous system with special importance: the frontal lobe. This book talks about great discoveries that have been made about this area of ​​the brain.

  • You can buy it here.

10. The universe of consciousness, by G. Edelman and G. Tononi

An old acquaintance: this book already appeared in the list of 5 books to give to a psychologist at Christmas 2014 ... and it is also an excellent book on neurosciences. Between his pages a subject is explored very investigated from the philosophy of the mind: How is it possible that a set of cells can give rise to consciousness, which is something totally private and subjective?

Gerald Edelman and Giulio Tononi offer an overview of their ideas on this subject, and also enter to discuss some philosophical questions above. Of course, this is a reading for people who already have a minimal idea about how the human brain works, and that is why we put it at the bottom of the list of neuroscience books.

  • You can buy it here.

Manuals on Neurosciences (for advanced readers)

So far we have reviewed ten books dedicated to neuroscience, with an informative style and for a public not necessarily learned in the subject.

Now, if you are a student of psychology, biology or medicine, and you want to deepen the study of the nervous system, we propose you two very complete manuals on neurosciences .

11. Fundamentals of Neuroscience. Laboratory manual (Various authors)

A manual frequently present among the compulsory readings of the faculties of psychology and medicine in Spain. 300 pages where it is clearly explained how our nervous system works, our brain and the biological bases of human behavior.

  • More information and purchase option in this link.

12. Cognitive Neuroscience (Diego Redolar Ripoll)

Probably the most well-known neuroscience manual. A true guide for neuroscience students . If your goal is to have a reference guide, this is the work that should not be missing in your personal library.

  • Buy it here

13. What is intelligence? (several authors)

This book offers an overview of one of the most important concepts in the world of psychology and neuroscience: intelligence. Its pages talk about the different facets of this set of mental abilities, its neurobiological elements and the way in which it is researched in this field.

It is an ideal work for people looking for an introduction to this field.

  • If you are interested, you can buy it here.

One more book: Psychologically Speaking, by Adrián Triglia, Bertrand Regader and Jonathan García-Allen

It is not a book about neurosciences strictly speaking, but a journey on the science of behavior for all audiences . If you want to discover many mysteries of the human mind, this work should be in your personal library.

  • You can buy it here.


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