We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Anyone looking to pursue a career plumbing the depths of the human psyche should start with one of these neuroscience textbooks. Filled with useful illustrations, handy vocabulary lists, and up-to-date information, they provide an in-depth look at the way our brains function. Everything from basic biology to the roles played by genes and chemicals gets put under the microscope. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.

10. The Pathophysiology of Behavior and Mental Illness

The Pathophysiology of Behavior and Mental Illness attempts to make the science easily accessible for mental health professionals, providing a framework for understanding what, exactly, is happening in the brain to create the behaviors encountered in the field.


  • Useful for preparing for boards
  • Authors use humor when appropriate
  • No information on motor functions















Brand The Pathophysiology of
Model pending
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. The Student’s Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience

Beginners should check out The Student’s Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience, as it’s a gentle introduction to the topic. Everything is laid out to give newbies an easy time transitioning into the subject, including summaries of key points, interesting feature boxes, and more.


  • Recommends books for further reading
  • Contains example essay questions
  • Too simple for advanced learners















Brand The Student’s Guide to
Model pending
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Behavioral Neuroscience

Behavioral Neuroscience covers everything from human evolution to the most modern, cutting-edge research, granting readers a broad overview of the discipline. It’s a great book for quickly getting up to speed on the information without becoming overwhelmed.


  • Picture reviews at end of chapters
  • Includes lots of internet resources
  • Poor-quality practice exercises















Brand Sinauer Associates is a
Model pending
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Foundations of Behavioral Neuroscience

While it may not be ideal for readers hoping to advance in the field, Foundations of Behavioral Neuroscience is a smart choice for laymen who want to use brain science to improve their own performance. Everything from sleep to reproductive behavior gets briefly examined.


  • Discusses various mental disorders
  • Lots of room for notes
  • Overreliant on online resources















Brand Foundations of Behavior
Model pending
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Fundamentals for Rehabilitation

Students who appreciate real-world examples should consider Fundamentals for Rehabilitation, as it’s filled with actual case studies and first-person tales of people who struggled with — and maybe even recovered from — neurological disorders.


  • Mri and ct images
  • Broken into easy-to-digest chapters
  • Doesn’t always define key terms















Brand Fundamentals for Rehabi
Model pending
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

5. The Biology of the Mind

The Biology of the Mind paints with a very wide brush, as it includes ideas from cognitive theory and psychology in addition to neuroscience. It’s written in a narrative style, so it reads more like the story of the discipline than a dry textbook.


  • Helpful chapter summaries
  • Incorporates research papers
  • May be too advanced for beginners















Brand W.W. Norton & Co
Model pending
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Neuroscience: 6th Edition

Students from multiple disciplines will appreciate Neuroscience: 6th Edition, since it draws on examples from both animals and humans. It’s designed to cover big picture and minute theories, giving a helpful overview that also prepares you for higher-level coursework.


  • Focuses on molecular processes
  • Written in accessible manner
  • Clear and useful diagrams















Brand Neuroscience: 6th Editi
Model pending
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Exploring the Brain

Exploring the Brain doesn’t just treat the brain as a piece of hardware to be diagrammed; instead, it breaks it down according to the psychological components associated with each part. This makes it tremendously easy to apply what you’re learning as you go along.


  • Filled with helpful illustrations
  • Kindle edition includes flashcards
  • Vocabulary terms are bolded















Brand Exploring the Brain
Model pending
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Netter’s Atlas

Anyone preparing for a big exam should have Netter’s Atlas handy, as it takes a deep dive into every part of the body that impacts the brain’s function, including the spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Plus, there are several 3D reconstructions to make things even clearer.


  • Filled with short and useful tables
  • Covers both structure and function
  • Plenty of interesting radiographs















Brand imusti
Model pending
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. The Principles of Neural Science

Written by a Nobel Prize winner, The Principles of Neural Science is tremendously well thought out and organized in a way that makes it easy to quickly reach a broad understanding of the topic, with a special focus on the interconnection of the nerves and synapses.


  • Highlights behavioral development
  • Incredible breadth of information
  • Emphasis on molecular biology















Brand Kandel, Eric R.
Model pending
Weight 8.8 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0