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Publishers WeeklyOver the past decade, a revolution in medical imaging has allowed researchers to scan the brain of subjects in situ, while setting their minds to an assigned task. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) are revealing, among other discoveries, that the brain of some apparently vegetative patients can be active; the brain's ability to heal and grow well beyond what was previously believed; and the various centers of different behaviors and skills. Physicist and science writer Boleyn-Fitzgerald addresses brain injury, addiction, memory, meditation, and more with summaries of recent research, cogent explanations of what scientists are learning, and plentiful references. Fascinatingly, she illustrates how "knotty questions about morality, blame, and punishment provide abundant raw material for brain researchers," who can assess, for instance, "whether 'normal' brains are wired for altruism and cooperation." Boleyn-Fitzgerald writes in a clear voice, making scientific data engaging and accessible for anyone with an interest in the study of neurology, mindfulness, or behavior.
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