There is a new textbook in cognitive neuroscience coming in June, called Cognition, Brain and Consciousness. The book is edited by Bernard J. Baars and Nicole Gage, who have done a tremendous job with this book.
I would know, because I’m co-author on two of the chapters. The book is richly illustrated and written in a clear and concise manner all through. In addition, an accompanying CD contains supplementary material such as movies and animations.
From the advertisement one can read:
A wave of new research is transforming our understanding of the human mind and brain. Many educational fields now require a basic understanding of the new topic of cognitive neuroscience. Cognition, Brain and Consciousness is a groundbreaking new textbook that bridges the disciplines of neuroscience and psychology to provide students with a clear and simple path to understand the latest findings in this emerging field.
It adopts an easy-to-understand thematic approach, building on widely understood concepts in psychology, such as working memory, selective attention, and social cognition. The brain is introduced in a step-by-step, readable style. Hundreds of color graphics have been carefully selected from the vast Elsevier archives including Gray’s Anatomy and Fundamental Neuroscience. Beautiful, clear artist’s drawings are used to “build a brain” from top to bottom, simplifying the layout of the brain. Drawing exercises at the end of each chapter are provided to strengthen the students’ understanding.
Indeed, what I like about this book overall is that it discusses consciousness up front. In standard cognitive neuroscience textbooks, consciousness is an add-on topic, i.e. it is discussed only later in a book. The treatment of sentience as “something else” than regular cognition is a categorical error. After all, many cognitive functions can operate at both conscious and unconscious levels. The new textbook explicitly addresses consciousness from page one.