I am slated to teach an undergrad Cognitive Neuroscience course next year and I am not sure which textbook to use. This would be an entry-level course (no pre-requisites) primarily intended for students in psychology and biology. There seem to be a lot of books on the market, so I'm hoping people will share their experiences (either as students or instructors) with whatever books they've used, especially why they liked or didn't like a particular book. Advice about strategies for selecting a book would also be helpful.

  • $\begingroup$ I have converted this question to a Community Wiki question as there is no single correct answer to it. I can also suggest asking for recommendations in chat, as that format is well suited to open-ended discussions. $\endgroup$
    – Josh
    Apr 6, 2013 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ @JoshGitlin I think it should probably be closed, given that there are no criteria for evaluation and it's soliciting advice. $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2013 at 1:55
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    $\begingroup$ @DanM. I think at it's core, it's a good question. I'm not so much advocating for a "close this and get it out of here" as I am trying to prevent a rash of answers that may not turn out to be helpful to you. I think the reason the question you linked to didn't get closed was because it was incredibly specific and focused. If you presented this one as "I am thinking about Gazzaniga's book, but it might have too much information for an intro level class, but I if I used that as a supplement, what would a good $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2013 at 2:42
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    $\begingroup$ Part of my motivation in asking this question was that I thought questions about teaching Cognitive Science could become an active topic for this site. Such questions would naturally be a little more open-ended than the typical SE question, but maybe we'd have multiple good answers (currently a rare occurrence). In any case, although it seems like there was some interest in my question (and perhaps there would be for other teaching questions), there doesn't seem to be much interest in answering it, so perhaps this is the wrong place for it. $\endgroup$
    – Dan M.
    Apr 7, 2013 at 17:35
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    $\begingroup$ I'd also like it if questions about how to teach psychology, cognitive science, etc. would be on topic on this site. $\endgroup$ Apr 8, 2013 at 0:38

2 Answers 2


I'm in an undergraduate course on Cognitive Neuroscience and have found the textbook we chose, Principles of Neural Science, to be helpful and illustrative. Strictly speaking, cognitive neuroscience is the subject of but one of the book's sections, but if you are not requiring prerequisites I think it is appropriate to have the basics (and some possible extensions) included.


There might be a new edition, but this one is good:

Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind by Michael Gazzaniga, Richard B. Ivry, and George R. Mangun.

  • $\begingroup$ Later versions are called "The Cognitive Neurosciences" $\endgroup$
    – mac389
    Dec 25, 2013 at 2:41

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