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.
Beyond the Zonules of Zinn: A Fantastic Journey Through Your Brain 3.6 out of 5based on
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.
Apocalyptic visions and prophecies from Zarathustra to yesterday form the luxuriant panorama in Eugen Weber's
profound and elegant book. Beginning with the ancients of the West and the Orient and, especially, with those from whom we received our religions, the ...
In the past few decades, scientists of human natureincluding experimental and cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, evolutionary
theorists, and behavioral economistshave explored the way we arrive at moral judgments. They have called into question commonplaces about character and offered troubling ...
Through a lifetime of passionate scholarship, Gershom Scholem (1897–1982) uncovered the “domains of tradition hidden
under the debris of centuries” and made the history of Jewish mysticism and messianism comprehensible and relevant to current Jewish thought.In this paperback edition of ...
The years 2002–2003 marked the seventieth anniversary of the man-made famine inflicted on Ukraine and
surrounding areas by Stalin’s Soviet leadership. The Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute commemorated the anniversary with a symposium in October 2003 titled “The Ukrainian Terror-Famine of ...
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 ushered in a period of democratization and
market reform extending across the East-Central European region, with one important exception: Belarus. Ironically, Belarus's fledgling attempts at democracy produced a leader who has suspended ...
A pair of leaves recently acquired by Houghton Library presents an opportunity to examine the
illuminated sequence composed in honor of John the Evangelist, Verbum dei, deo natum, within its broader cultural context. Written and illuminated at the Dominican nunnery ...
Neil Schaeffer presents here a wholly original, compellingly human portrait of the divine Marquis, the
enigmatic legend whose name is synonymous with brutal perversion and cruelty. Against a magnificently embroidered backdrop of eighteenth-century France, he shows us Sade's incredible life ...
The results and implications of Alan Tyson's work on Mozart have had a profound impact
on virtually every aspect of research on this composer: biography, chronology of compositions, working methods, stylistic analysis. Central, perhaps, are Tyson's discoveries on chronology: time ...