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Allen, a neuroanatomist and anthropologist, has provided a lucidly comprehensive intellectual account of the human brain's developmental processes.
— J. N. Muzio
In The Lives of the Brain, John S. Allen explores the many influences that anatomy, molecular biology, aging, development and culture have on the evolution and functional organization of the human brain. He provides the perspective and foundation to start thinking about brain evolution in a more sophisticated, multidimensional fashion.
— Asif A. Ghazanfar
A very good introduction to recent research on cognition, especially cognition and language. An antidote to many things you have read in Pinker.
— Tyler Cowen
The scope and scholarship of this book is impressive...There is much to learn, even by the experienced investigator, from reading this book, which is also a treat for any science-loving reader.
— Jon H. Kaas
Allen's book is comprised of ten chapters that collectively fulfill the promise of the introductory chapter to provide the reader with an in-depth exploration of the current knowledge of the brain...Anyone who wanted to philosophize about mind should first spend a year studying the brain in a hands-on laboratory setting. If doing so is not possible then reading Allen's book is a good substitute...The Lives of the Brain provides the reader with a comprehensive picture of the state of the knowledge of brain evolution at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
— Bob Lane
The Lives of the Brain is a wonderfully engaging book. Because of its wide scope, even experts in the field are certain to make new discoveries in its pages. Because it is written in a style that is accessible and does not presuppose a specialized background in neuroscience, it will also serve as an excellent entry point for the uninitiated reader who is interested in knowing more about the human brain and its evolutionary history.
— Chet C. Sherwood
Allen does a remarkable job in providing an insightful and a timely synthesis of current knowledge about brain evolution...He successfully highlights the controversies that surround the "big" issue of human brain evolution and manages to integrate findings across different levels and from various fields. The style of writing is clear and the book makes a comprehensible reading for anyone with an interest in brain evolution.
— Lambros Malafouris