Best of the Brain from Scientific Americanby Floyd E. Bloom
We hear about a woman with an artificial arm controlled by her mind, read stories about the creative potential of “right-brain” and “left-brain” people, and watch science fiction films featuring characters with implanted mind chips. Yet few of us understand the science behind these and other visionary advances being made today in brain… See more details below
We hear about a woman with an artificial arm controlled by her mind, read stories about the creative potential of “right-brain” and “left-brain” people, and watch science fiction films featuring characters with implanted mind chips. Yet few of us understand the science behind these and other visionary advances being made today in brain research. Leading neuroscientists and scholars have charted the stream of new findings in Scientific American and Scientific American Mind, and their articles from the past eight years, compiled here in a comprehensive volume, offer diverse and provocative perspectives on various cutting-edge brain science projects.
Scientific American, the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States, has long been the standard bearer of science journalism, and the brain science articles published in its pages offer unparalleled insights into the world of neuroscience. The expert articles assembled here, divided into three sections, reveal the latest developments of brain research in a compelling and wholly readable fashion and explore the range of fields and topics now included under the umbrella of neuroscience.
Consciousness and creativity are the focus of the “Mind” section, which features such compelling essays as science writer Carl Zimmer’s examination of how the brain creates a sense of self. Steven E. Hyman, Harvard Provost and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, proposes new ways of diagnosing psychiatric disorders in “Matter,” a section that also features articles on psychological disorders, addictions, and other topics related to the interaction between body and brain. And “Tomorrow’s Brain” reveals the intriguing future potential of man-machine interactions, as well as pioneering new methods of brain treatment. Eminent neuroscientist Floyd E. Bloom also contributes an engaging introduction that situates these pieces on the front lines of brain research.
In today’s technologically driven world, our lives are changing faster than ever, and neuroscience is becoming an integral part of that transformation. Best of the Brain from Scientific American gathers the very best writings on this sea change, providing an invaluable guide to the exhilarating possibilities of neuroscience.
"If you are going to live, whether you like it or not, in thrall to you brain, then your future belongs in some way to the doctors who claim to be the only people qualified to explain you to yourself. . . . The prominent neuroscientists who contribute to Best of the Brain are sure that a full explication of its operation is just a supersized technical challenge that will soon be met."--Harper's Magazine
“Inner space is like outer space: at least, that is the curious visual analogy implied by all the beautiful colour illustrations in this book, where the images of what’s going on inside human and other brains resemble nothing so much as Hubble photographs of distant galaxies. It’s a deeply interesting and highly readable collection of articles about frontiers in current brain science.”--Guardian
Well written and accessible to a general audience, these 21 articles from Scientific Americansince 1999 provide insight into our current state of knowledge about the human brain. Floyd, past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former editor of its flagship journal, Science, is ideal to make this selection. In the first section, "Mind," about high-level brain functions, Nobel laureate Eric Kandel argues that we are now poised to turn "mind" from a philosophical concept into a scientific one. The next section, "Matter," deals primarily with disorders of the brain and how, for example, researchers hope to devise effective treatments and better understand the healthy brain. The final section, "Tomorrow's Brain," envisions a time when prosthetic devises might be controlled by thought alone, when artificial retinas are commonplace and when humans and machines merge into what could only be described as a new entity—a future that may not be so far off. Miguel Nicoleli and John Chapin show how Belle, an owl monkey, working with a microwire array implanted on the surface of her brain, moves an artificial arm merely by thinking of making it move. There's much to stimulate the brain of any reader. 30 color illus. (June)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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