Beyond the Zonules of Zinn: A Fantastic Journey Through Your Brain

Beyond the Zonules of Zinn: A Fantastic Journey Through Your Brain

by David Bainbridge
     
 

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In his latest book, Bainbridge combines an otherworldly journey through the central nervous system with an accessible and entertaining account of how the brain's anatomy has often misled anatomists about its function. Bainbridge uses the structure of the brain to set his book apart from the many volumes that focus on brain function.See more details below

Overview

In his latest book, Bainbridge combines an otherworldly journey through the central nervous system with an accessible and entertaining account of how the brain's anatomy has often misled anatomists about its function. Bainbridge uses the structure of the brain to set his book apart from the many volumes that focus on brain function.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this "geographical tour" of the nervous system, readers will find an entertaining and enlightening history of neuroscience and a look at the anatomy of the brain. A clinical anatomist at Cambridge University, Bainbridge (The X in Sex) has had ample opportunity to examine the brain and ponder its origins and function-as well as the many strange and marvelous names of its parts, labeled long before anyone knew what they did. The Zonules of Zinn-"a name from an ancient map, from a souk, from another galaxy"-are small fibers attached to the lens of the eye that adjust it for seeing at different distances. Bainbridge discusses the history and function of each name: in addition to hillocks and pyramids are the Almonds (amygdalae), part of the emotional response system, and the locus coeruleus, or "sky-blue place," involved in alertness and stress. Your brain even has its own "Area 51," thanks to a German neuroanatomist whose system of numbering different regions of the cerebral cortex is still used today. Bainbridge's tour also includes short discussions of nervous system disorders like multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. The book's relaxed pace, interesting tangents and broad coverage make this book eminently suitable for anyone curious about the brain. 30 b&w illus. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Early in this wonderful exploration of the brain and central nervous system, Bainbridge (clinical anatomy, Cambridge Univ.; Making Babies: The Science of Pregnancy) clarifies his anatomist's bias, stating that the best way to understand the brain is through its structure. As he guides readers through the central nervous system from the base of the spine to the front of the brain, Bainbridge explains how the central nervous system develops during the embryonic stage, and then he discusses the adult brain. Writing in prose that is precise, descriptive, and engaging, he offers vibrant depictions of neuroscientists' discoveries and the brain's evolution. Moving from structure and evolution to the senses, engineering, and wiring of the brain, the author eloquently describes the functioning of the central nervous system and then briefly examines the connections between the brain and the mind, along with more esoteric functions such as memory and consciousness. Within these descriptions, Bainbridge discusses some of the diseases and issues the brain can encounter during early development and in its adult form, from spina bifida and meningitis to Parkinson's and synesthesia. Highly recommended for all collections.
—Candice Kai

School Library Journal

In this "geographical tour" of the nervous system, readers will find an entertaining and enlightening history of neuroscience and a look at the anatomy of the brain. A clinical anatomist at Cambridge University, Bainbridge (The X in Sex) has had ample opportunity to examine the brain and ponder its origins and function-as well as the many strange and marvelous names of its parts, labeled long before anyone knew what they did. The Zonules of Zinn-"a name from an ancient map, from a souk, from another galaxy"-are small fibers attached to the lens of the eye that adjust it for seeing at different distances. Bainbridge discusses the history and function of each name: in addition to hillocks and pyramids are the Almonds (amygdalae), part of the emotional response system, and the locus coeruleus, or "sky-blue place," involved in alertness and stress. Your brain even has its own "Area 51," thanks to a German neuroanatomist whose system of numbering different regions of the cerebral cortex is still used today. Bainbridge's tour also includes short discussions of nervous system disorders like multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. The book's relaxed pace, interesting tangents and broad coverage make this book eminently suitable for anyone curious about the brain. 30 b&w illus. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The Lancet

Absorbing...[Bainbridge's] witty journey from spinal cord through brain stem to cerebral cortex, ending with a cautious chapter on the "deceitful spectre" of consciousness, is unashamedly personal...Despite the complexity of the human brain, Bainbridge seeks to convince the non-specialist that it is, in fact, "simpler than you might have thought."...Highly informative and historically minded.
— Andrew Robinson

Times Higher Education Supplement

This book does an excellent job of introducing the layout of the brain in an easily digestible form through describing the history of its discovery while celebrating quirkiness in its nomenclature and the eccentricities of early anatomists...This book is enjoyable to read and provides an excellent contribution to making some of the apparently bizarre structure and functioning of the brain accessible to the lay reader. All neuroscientists should also welcome it: as a teacher of neuroanatomy for many years I certainly read it with pleasure.
— M. W. Brown

Human Givens Journal

David Bainbridge is establishing a reputation for clear, popular science writing, laced with imaginative flair and good humor, plus the essential skill of good storytelling. It is a reputation this book is likely to enhance...Presented as a journey through the "geography" of brain and nervous system, the book introduces its lay readers to a phantasmagoria of exotically named parts, from the Tolkienesque tract of Goll to the canal of Schlemm, Varolio's bridge and a host more.
— Rob Parkinson

Booklist
With great good humor, anatomist Bainbridge conducts a tour up the spinal cord to the cerebral cortex, en route covering, in succession, embryonic brain development, the structuring of the senses, and the workings of the mind. A tour de force of popular science writing.
The Lancet - Andrew Robinson
Absorbing...[Bainbridge's] witty journey from spinal cord through brain stem to cerebral cortex, ending with a cautious chapter on the "deceitful spectre" of consciousness, is unashamedly personal...Despite the complexity of the human brain, Bainbridge seeks to convince the non-specialist that it is, in fact, "simpler than you might have thought."...Highly informative and historically minded.
Times Higher Education Supplement - M. W. Brown
This book does an excellent job of introducing the layout of the brain in an easily digestible form through describing the history of its discovery while celebrating quirkiness in its nomenclature and the eccentricities of early anatomists...This book is enjoyable to read and provides an excellent contribution to making some of the apparently bizarre structure and functioning of the brain accessible to the lay reader. All neuroscientists should also welcome it: as a teacher of neuroanatomy for many years I certainly read it with pleasure.
Human Givens Journal - Rob Parkinson
David Bainbridge is establishing a reputation for clear, popular science writing, laced with imaginative flair and good humor, plus the essential skill of good storytelling. It is a reputation this book is likely to enhance...Presented as a journey through the "geography" of brain and nervous system, the book introduces its lay readers to a phantasmagoria of exotically named parts, from the Tolkienesque tract of Goll to the canal of Schlemm, Varolio's bridge and a host more.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674020429
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
06/30/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
818,763
File size:
1 MB

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