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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Overview

In his latest book, David 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. He shows that for hundreds of years, natural philosophers have been interested in the gray matter inside our skulls, but all they had to go on was its structure. Almost every knob, protrusion, canal, and crease was named before anyone had an inkling of what it did--a kind of biological terra incognita with many weird and wonderful names: the zonules of Zinn, the obex ("the most Scrabble-friendly word in all of neuroanatomy"), the aqueduct of Sylvius, the tract of Goll.

This uniquely accessible approach lays out what is known about the brain (its structure), what we can hope to know (its function), and what we may never know (its evolution). Along the way Bainbridge tells lots of wonderful stories about the "two pounds of blancmange" within our skulls, and tells them all with wit and style.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674034587
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 03/30/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

David Bainbridge is University Clinical Veterinary Anatomist at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

Table of Contents

  • Prologue



    I. A Grand Tour of Terra Incognita The spinal cord
  1. Skull Marrow First thoughts about the mind
  2. Servants and Guards of the Great King The classical brain
  3. The Brain as Geography Maps of the mind
  4. A River Runs Through It The development of a brain
  5. Leonardo's Butterfly The spinal cord
  6. Interlude The worm that turned (over)

  7. II. An Assault on the Senses The brain stem
  8. A Forest So Dense The new anatomy of Santiago Ramón y Cajal
  9. The Little Fish Who Never Grew Up The origins of the ear
  10. The Brain as Archaeology The hindbrain
  11. Beauty Is in the Eye of the, er, Squid The origins of the eye
  12. Hillocks, Buttocks, Blindsight, and Black Stuff The midbrain
  13. Stinkin' and Thinkin' The origins of the nose
  14. Into the Marriage Chamber for Some Sexy Synesthesia Entering the forebrain
  15. Why Is "D" Brown? When the senses mix
  16. Interlude Shrapnel and magnets

  17. III. Where All the Mind May Be Found? The cortex
  18. The Brain as Engineering Wilder Penfield and the cortex
  19. The Apparent Disorder of the Cerebral Jungle What is in those hemispheres?
  20. The Seahorse and the Almond Memory, learning, and fear
  21. The Hard Question Brain size and consciousness

  • Epilogue: No Turning Back
  • Further Reading
  • Index

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Beyond the Zonules of Zinn: A Fantastic Journey Through Your Brain 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
KR2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that I wish I had a better memory for. I felt that I wanted to cram it all in and found myself rereading passages so as to try and not forget them. That said, Bainbridge did a wonderful job of "dumbing it down" for the common person to read. With typical British wit, he takes on the heavy topic of the evolution of the central nervous system, and had me laughing hysterically without notice. Being a veterinarian, there is mention of all types of creatures a...moreThis is one of those books that I wish I had a better memory for. I felt that I wanted to cram it all in and found myself rereading passages so as to try and not forget them. That said, Bainbridge did a wonderful job of "dumbing it down" for the common person to read. With typical British wit, he takes on the heavy topic of the evolution of the central nervous system, and had me laughing hysterically without notice. Being a veterinarian, there is mention of all types of creatures and their brain constructs in comparison with the human brain. This was really a well written book.
drneutron on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beyond the Zonules of Zinn had a lot of potential. Bainbridge attempts to lay out the anatomy of the central nervous system, with heavy emphasis on the brain. Some parts of this work shined, especially early in the book. As it went on, though, the book got more and more heavy with the weight of a very detail-laden subject until it was too dense for me to penetrate.Part of the issue is that the subject is indeed very detail-laden, and without lots of study, it's hard to keep track of all the anatomical bits and pieces Bainbridge discusses. The book would have been substantially improved with more figures clearly showing all the named objects. At least then I could keep things straight in my head as I wade through his discussion of function and formation.
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