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Brainscapes: The Warped, Wondrous Maps Written in Your Brain-And How They Guide You

Brainscapes: The Warped, Wondrous Maps Written in Your Brain-And How They Guide You

by Rebecca Schwarzlose


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“Enlightening and ambitious… a book that travels into rich terrain, charted by a smart and eager tour guide.”—New York Times Book Review

A path-breaking journey into the brain, showing how perception, thought, and action are products of maps etched into your gray matter—and how technology can use them to read your mind.

Your brain is a collection of maps: detailed representations, scrawled across your brain’s surfaces, of the sights, sounds, and actions that hold the key to your survival. Although scientists began discovering these maps over a century ago, we are only now beginning to unlock their secrets—and comprehend their profound impact on our lives. Brain maps distort and shape our experience of the world, support complex thought, and make technology-enabled mind reading a modern-day reality. They shine a light on our past and our possible futures. In the process, they invite us to view ourselves from a startling new perspective.

In Brainscapes, Rebecca Schwarzlose combines unforgettable real-life stories, cutting-edge research, and vivid illustrations to reveal brain maps’ surprising lessons about our place in the world—and about the world’s place within us.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328949967
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 06/15/2021
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 101,922
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

REBECCA SCHWARZLOSE is a neuroscientist at Washington University in Saint Louis. She holds a PhD in neuroscience from MIT and has served as chief editor of the scholarly journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences. She lives in Saint Louis.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 An Atlas of You: What Is a Brain Map? 7

2 The Tyranny of Numbers: Why Brain Maps Exist 25

3 How Brain Maps Determine What We See and Feel 45

4 Out of the Ether: Brain Maps for Hearing 71

5 Brain Maps and Codes for Taste and Smell 85

6 On the Move: Brain Maps for Action 107

7 Maps in the Making: How Brain Maps Develop and Adapt 131

8 Knowing Again: Brain Maps for Recognition 151

9 Imagining, Remembering, and Paying Attention with Brain Maps 171

10 Comprehending and Communicating with Brain Maps 191

11 Maps as Portals: Mind Reading and Mind Writing with Brain Maps 213

12 How Brain Maps Weigh Us Down and How We Rise Above Them 243

Acknowledgments 257

Notes 259

Index 287

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