This atlas is a reflection of, and a response to, suggestions from professional and graduate students over the years I have taught human neurobiology. Admittedly, some personal philosophy, as regards teaching, has crept into all parts of the work.
The goal of this atlas is to provide a maximal amount of useful information, in the form of photographs and drawings, so that the initial learning experience will be pleasant, logical, and fruitful, and the review process effective and beneficial to longterm professional goals. To this end several guiding principles have been followed. First, the entire anatomy of the central nervous system (CNS), external and internal, has been covered in appropriate detail. Second, a conscientious effort has been made to generate photographs and drawings of the highest quality: illustrations that clearly relay information to the reader. Third, complementary information always appears on facing page. This may take the form of two views of related structures such as brainstem or successive brain slices or a list of abbreviations and description for a full-page figure. Fourth, illustrations of blood supply have been included and integrated into their appropriate chapters. When gross anatomy of the brain is shown, the patterns of blood vessels and relationships of sinuses appear on facing pages. The distribution pattern of blood vessels to internal CNS structures is correlated with internal morphology as seen in stained sections. Including information on external vascular patterns represents a distinct departure from what is available in most atlases, and illustrations of internal vessel distribution are unique to this atlas.
There are other features which, although not unique in themselves, do not usually appear in atlas format. In the chapter containing cross-sections, special effort has been made to provide figures that are accurate, clear, and allow considerable flexibility in how they can be used for both teaching and learning. The use of illustrations that are one-half photograph and one-half drawing is not entirely novel. In this atlas, however, the sections are large, clearly labeled, and the drawing side is a mirror-image of the photograph side. One section of the atlas is devoted to summaries of a variety of major pathways. Including this material in a laboratory atlas represents a distinct departure from the standard approach. However, feedback over the years strongly indicates that this type of information in atlas format is extremely helpful to stu dents in the laboratory and greatly enhances their ability to grasp and retain information on CNS connections. While this atlas does not attempt to teach clinical concepts, a chapter correlating selected views of angiograms and CT scans with morphological relationships of cerebral arteries and internal brain structures is included. These examples illustrate that a clear understanding of normal morphological relationships, as seen in the laboratory, can be directly transposed to clinical situations.
This atlas was not conceived with a particular audience in mind. It was designed to impart a clear and comprehensive understanding of CNS morphology to its readers, whoever they may be. It is most obviously appropriate for human neurobiology courses as taught to medical, dental, and graduate students. In addition, students in nursing, physical therapy, and other allied health curricula, and psychology as well, may also find its contents helpful and applicable to their needs. Inclusion and integration of blood vessel patterns, both external and internal, and the summary pathway drawings may be useful to the individual requiring a succinct, yet comprehensive review before taking board exams in the neurological, neurosurgical, and psychiatric specialties.
The details in some portions of this atlas may exceed that found in comparable parts of other atlases. If one is to err, it seems more judicious to err on the side of greater detail than on the side of inadequate detail. If the student is confronted with more information on a particular point than is needed during the initial learning process, he or she can simply bypass the extra information. However, once the initial learning is completed, the additional information will be there to enhance the review process. If students have inadequate information in front of them it may be difficult, or even impossible, to fill in missing points that may not be part of their repertoire of knowledge. In addition, information may be inserted out of context, and, thereby, hinder the learning experience.
A work such as this is bound to be subject to oversights, and for such foibles, I am solely responsible. I welcome comments, suggestions, and corrections from my colleagues and from students.
Duane E. Haines
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