Fox Human Physiology 14th Edition
William B. Westwood’s cover illustration of the eye and the structures and processes required for vision encompasses the study of physiology at multiple levels. The physiology of vision entails the biophysical processes of light becoming focused onto and interacting with photoreceptors, the molecular and cellular constituents of these receptors that enable them to respond to light, and neural interactions needed for the brain to meaningfully interpret this stimulation.
Photoreceptors are located in the part of the eye and brain called the retina, which is a neural layer at the back of the eye. The front cover shows light entering the eye and becoming focused by the lens onto the retina. The outer segments of photoreceptors contain stacks of membranes, shown as purple at the bottom of the book’s spine, which contain the photoreceptor pigment rhodopsin (the green structures within the membranes at the bottom left of the front cover).
The bottom middle of the front cover illustrates a plasma membrane of a photoreceptor neuron containing ion channels (pink). In the dark, these channels allow Na1 ions (pink spheres) to enter the photoreceptor. Light induces a change in the rhodopsin that initiates a signaling pathway (not shown), which leads to the closing of these channels (shown by the bottom channel). This indirectly causes the photoreceptors to stimulate other neurons in the retina (bipolar cells, depicted in red near the bottom of the front cover), which then stimulate another layer of neurons (ganglion cells, depicted green at the bottom of the front cover.).
The axons (nerve fibers) of the ganglion cells gather together to form the optic nerves, which leave the eye to carry visual information to the brain, as shown on the back cover. The visual fields illustrated as blue and purple circles on the back cover stimulate different regions of the retina. Because many of the axons in the optic nerves cross to the opposite side, aspects of the right visual field are conveyed to the left cerebral cortex and vice versa, as illustrated by the blue and purple colors of the nerve tracts. Physiological processes continue within the brain, allowing it to create images that our mind interprets as the reality of the external world.
What Sets This Book Apart?
The study of human physiology provides the scientific foundation for the field of medicine and all other professions related to human health and physical performance. The scope of topics included in a human physiology course is therefore wideranging, yet each topic must be covered in sufficient detail to provide a firm basis for future expansion and application. Human Physiology, fourteenth edition, is written for the undergraduate introductory human physiology course. Based on the author’s extensive experience with teaching this course, the framework of the textbook is designed to provide basic biology and chemistry (chapters 2–5) before delving into more complex physiological processes. This approach is appreciated by both instructors and students; specific references in later chapters direct readers back to the foundational material as needed, presenting a self-contained study of human physiology.
In addition to not presupposing student’s preparedness, this popular textbook is known for its clear and approachable writing style, detailed realistic art, and unsurpassed clinical information.
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