6 Best Neuroscience Textbooks (2024 Review)

If you are a neuroscientist, then it means you deal with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the nervous system. Neuroscience also covers the basic and complex functions of the nervous system – and in the university, it is a multidisciplinary course that combines physiology, anatomy, molecular biology, developmental biology, neurology, and cytology among others.

If you are a student of neuroscience or a medical researcher interested in the field, you would require the best neuroscience textbooks to help you. There are hundreds of quality neuroscience textbooks out there, but not all of them are perfectly tailored to your needs or broad enough to cater to the academic needs of students and professional needs of practitioners.

best neuroscience textbooks

Best Neuroscience Textbooks: Our Top 6 Recommendations

The 6 best neuroscience textbooks reviewed in this guide are highly recommended for all academic and professional needs, and they are authored by industry leaders for your career excellence. Now let’s consider them in significant detail:

1. Principles of Neural Science, Sixth Edition


The first edition of this book was published more than 40 years ago. And having undergone several revisions under newer editions, this 6th edition represents 40+ years of neural science in one volume.

It captures how human behavior is influenced by neural activities in the brain; and how clinical neurology and psychiatry are set to shape our future understanding of neural science. With more than 2,200 color images, radiology studies, and PET scans, this is the perfect neuroscience textbook for students and practitioners.

This latest edition is completely revised and updated to portray the latest research, clinical perspectives, and hallmark references in the neural science field. It captures the functional relationships between the brain, mind, and connecting nerves.

There are new chapters and sections that cover consciousness, computational neural circuits, brain-machine interfaces, disorders of the nervous system, and neurology diseases such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease among others.

Author(s): Eric Kandel; John D. Koester; Sarah H. Mack; and Steven Siegelbaum

Publisher: McGraw Hill

Current Edition: Hardcover, 6th Edition (March, 2021)

Pages: 1,696

2. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, Enhanced Edition


If you have ever been serious about exploring the human brain and how it influences human behavior and societal relations, then you might want to lay your hands on the enhanced edition of Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain.

Written by a team of professors of neuroscience with more than 50 years of combined experience, this neuroscience textbook is all you need to pass academic and board examinations as well as succeed in the neuroscience profession.

According to the authors, “the human genome has been sequenced, sophisticated new methods have been developed for genetic engineering, and new methods have been introduced to enable visualization and stimulation of specific types of cells and connections in the brain.” Based on these advancements, the authors updated new field research and breakthroughs in the field of neuroscience in this textbook – making it more student-friendly with color images, enhanced illustrations, compelling exploration themes, and additional resources via online resources.

Author(s): Mark Bear; Barry Connors; and Michael A. Paradiso

Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning

Current Edition: Paperback, 4th Edition (April, 2020)

Pages: 975

3. Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind


The Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind textbook is structured to aid student learning and practical demonstrations in clinical settings. It explores the biological functions of the human mind and the cognitive abilities of the brain that make individuals do what they do while leaving room for what they do not want to do.

Authored by a team of three neuroscience professors and clinicians, this textbook is all a student needs to succeed and qualify as a trained and certified neuroscientist.

One of the three authors, Michael Gazzaniga is the director of the SAGE Center for the Study of Mind at the University of California in Santa Barbara. The second author, Richard Ivry, is a professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of California in Berkeley. And the third author, George Mangun is a professor of Psychology and Neurology in the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California in Davis.

The trio of these authors published Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind to help students qualify as professional neuroscientists and for practitioners to have updated reference material.

Author(s): Michael Gazzaniga; Richard B. Irvy; George R. Mangun

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company

Current Edition: Hardcover, 5th Edition (December, 2018)

Pages: 657

4. Neuroscience


Written and edited by a team of more than eight professorial and professional experts, Neuroscience in its 6th edition is a “comprehensive textbook that provides a balance of animal and human studies to discuss the dynamic field of neuroscience from cellular signaling to cognitive function.”

Published for neurology and neuroscience students and researchers in related fields, this textbook covers all the essentials and complexities of neural science that anyone would need to pass examinations and succeed as a practitioner.

The style in which this publication is presented makes it easy to comprehend by all users and makes it a worthy resource to treasure as a reference. The entire team of authors presented their best academic knowledge and clinical skills covering a combined 50+ years in this neuroscience textbook, and this makes it suitable for academic and clinical applications. This material comes highly recommended and should be within arm’s reach in the consultation room and in the classroom.

Author(s): Dale Purves; George J. Augustine; David Fitzpatrick; William C. Hall; Anthony-Samuel LaMantia; Richard D. Mooney; Michael L. Platt; and Leonard E. White

Publisher: Sinauer Associates

Current Edition: Hardcover, 6th Edition (October, 2017)

Pages: 960

5. Foundational Concepts in Neuroscience: A Brain-Mind Odyssey (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology)


Written for neuroscience students and practicing neuroscientists, Foundational Concepts in Neuroscience: A Brain-Mind Odyssey covers the essentials and complexities of neural science for all invested parties. It demystifies the scientific study of the human brain, mind, and behavior in a manner that learners and practitioners would understand easily.

Recommended for use by university and even community college students, this neuroscience textbook will help you to pass school and board examinations and make a success of your professional career.

With more than 100 color illustrations and images that detail the complexities of the human brain and mind, the author presented the book in a way that anyone would find enjoyable. According to him, “from molecules and cells to mind and consciousness,” all users of this book must enjoy studying neuroscience without the aid of a physical teacher – and that is what this textbook is set out to achieve.

Author: David E. Presti

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company

Current Edition: Hardcover, Illustrated Edition (December, 2015)

Pages: 320

6. Neuroscience for Dummies


Neuroscience for Dummies is written for medical students and professionals who desire to comprehend how their brains function, how their senses work, how they think and feel, and how they move and carry out thought processes.

According to the author, this book “holds the secrets to your personality, use of language, memories, and the way your body operates.” It covers the latest research in the field of neural science and provides revised and updated knowledge in genetics, the nervous system, and diseases affecting the nervous system.

This neuroscience textbook reveals how gender affects brain functions, why some people are more sensitive to pain than others, what constitutes intelligence, and proven ways to enhance learning and comprehension skills. This book resource is recommended for all neuroscience students at all levels and for all medical practitioners interested in the brain and neural functions.

Author(s): Frank Amthor

Publisher: For Dummies

Current Edition: Paperback, 2nd Edition (May, 2016)

Pages: 416