The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery

by Sam Kean

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316182355
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 06/09/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 65,189
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Sam Kean is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, and New Scientist, and has been featured on NPR's "Radiolab" and "All Things Considered."

Table of Contents

Part I Gross Anatomy

Introduction 5

Chapter 1 The Dueling Neurosurgeons 17

Part II Cells, Senses, Circuits

Chapter 2 The Assassin's Soup 43

Chapter 3 Wiring and Rewiring 73

Chapter 4 Facing Brain Damage 99

Part III Body and Brain

Chapter 5 The Brain's Motor 129

Chapter 6 The Laughing Disease 155

Chapter 7 Sex and Punishment 183

Part IV Beliefs and Delusions

Chapter 8 The Sacred Disease 215

Chapter 9 "Sleights of Mind" 241

Part V Consciousness

Chapter 10 Honest Lying 267

Chapter 11 Left, Right, and Center 299

Chapter 12 The Man, the Myth, the Legend 329

Acknowledgments 357

Notes and Miscellanea 359

Works Cited 383

Index 397

Reading Group Guide 409

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The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers' Favorite The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery is by Sam Kean. This book begins with the work of a doctor, Andreas Vesalius, who studied the anatomy of gladiators when they were injured, since it was illegal to dissect humans and the gladiators frequently provided severe injuries exposing internal structure. Several other high profile cases are mentioned. When King Henri of France was gouged by a lance in his eye in a jousting match in 1559, a large splinter was removed from his eye, but several others were unable to be removed. He was treated by Parette, who often evaluated the brains of decapitated criminals, sometimes finding swollen and dead tissue, now known as concussions. Henri’s headache increased, which told Parette the blood vessels had ruptured and the blood was expanding in the skull. He finally died of a hemorrhage. At that time an autopsy was allowed. The shards from the lance that could not be removed were found to have penetrated the brain, and large blood clots were discovered that had expanded in the skull and caused Henri’s ultimate demise. Charles Guiteau believed he was told by God to kill President Garfield. He bought a pistol and determined to kill him in church. He shot Garfield at the train station, first nicking him and then hitting his lower back. A Doctor Bliss was assigned to care for Garfield and he subsequently released tidbits of updates to the press. Garfield eventually stabilized and he relocated to New Jersey, but later died of an infection. It was upon an autopsy of Guiteau, after his death sentence was carried out, that his brain was found to have certain abnormalities. Titled in reference to the jousting accident of King Henri, The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons contains many other cases which point out the ingenious adaptability of the brain to unfortunate circumstances. James Holman, though totally blind after extensive exploration of Siberia, developed a method of echolocation by using a cane to understand and navigate his surroundings. You will certainly learn more about the anatomy of the brain through Sam Kean’s discussion of dendrites, neurons, and synapses.
kalevala More than 1 year ago
Third Sam Kean book I have read. Not disappointed as he makes neuroscience interesting and funny. Also recommend The Disappearing Spoon, the periodic table has never been so fascinating! And The Violinists Thumb does wonders with DNA and genetics! These 3 books would be excellent reading for beginning science classes in each area!
Anonymous 3 months ago
efm More than 1 year ago
Loved all the amazing facts on neural anatomy I learned in this book, amazing factual accounts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago