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Best of the Brain from Scientific American: Mind, Matter, and Tomorrow's Brain Hardcover – July 20, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Dana Press; 1 edition (July 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932594221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932594225
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Well written and accessible to a general audience, these 21 articles from Scientific American since 1999 provide insight into our current state of knowledge about the human brain. Floyd, past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former editor of its flagship journal, Science, is ideal to make this selection. In the first section, "Mind," about high-level brain functions, Nobel laureate Eric Kandel argues that we are now poised to turn "mind" from a philosophical concept into a scientific one. The next section, "Matter," deals primarily with disorders of the brain and how, for example, researchers hope to devise effective treatments and better understand the healthy brain. The final section, "Tomorrow's Brain," envisions a time when prosthetic devises might be controlled by thought alone, when artificial retinas are commonplace and when humans and machines merge into what could only be described as a new entity—a future that may not be so far off. Miguel Nicoleli and John Chapin show how Belle, an owl monkey, working with a microwire array implanted on the surface of her brain, moves an artificial arm merely by thinking of making it move. There's much to stimulate the brain of any reader. 30 color illus. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"If you are going to live, whether you like it or not, in thrall to you brain, then your future belongs in some way to the doctors who claim to be the only people qualified to explain you to yourself. . . . The prominent neuroscientists who contribute to Best of the Brain are sure that a full explication of its operation is just a supersized technical challenge that will soon be met."--Harper's Magazine
(Gary Greenberg Harper's Magazine 2008-06-01)

“Inner space is like outer space: at least, that is the curious visual analogy implied by all the beautiful colour illustrations in this book, where the images of what’s going on inside human and other brains resemble nothing so much as Hubble photographs of distant galaxies. It’s a deeply interesting and highly readable collection of articles about frontiers in current brain science.”--Guardian
 
 
(Steven Poole Guardian 2007-08-18)

"Well-written and accessible to a general audience, these 21 articles from Scientific American since 1999 provide insight into our current state of knowledge about the human brain. Floyd, past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former editor of its flagship journal Science is ideal to make this selection. . . . There's much to stimulate the brain of any reader."--Publishers Weekly



 



 

(Publishers Weekly 2007-04-09)

"A remarkable volume of essays culled from the pages of Scientific American and Scientific American Mind that offer an outstanding overview of recent and emerging developments in the field since 1999. . . . Highly recommended for all public and undergraduate college libraries."—Candice Kail, Library Journal
 
 
(Candice Kail Library Journal 2007-05-15)

“Best of the Brain is an exploration of mind and matter by some of the best in the brain business. I can’t think of a better place to get a crash course on what we know about brain function and what’s coming down the road.”—Joseph LeDoux, New York University and author of The Emotional Brain and Synaptic Self



 



 



 

(Joseph LeDoux 2007-02-13)

‘”The past two decades have brought amazing breakthroughs in our understanding of the human brain…. Best of the Brain is an irresistible guide to this new territory.”—Oliver Sacks, M.D., author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

(Oliver Sacks 2007-02-13)

“The study of the human brain and its diseases remains one of the greatest scientific and philosophical challenges ever undertaken. The knowledge we have collected has become so plentiful and significant that it tends to intimidate novices and tempt the unaware into believing that the most important findings are behind us. In fact, the past accomplishments now allow us to pose better and still more interesting questions.”Floyd E. Bloom, MD, from the Introduction



 



 

(Floyd E. Bloom 2006-11-01)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pletko on September 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
XXXXX

"The [21] articles in this collection reflect the promise, excitement, and intrigue in many areas [of brain research] since the official end of [the 1990s or] the `Decade of the Brain.'"

The above statement is found in the introduction of this fascinating book edited by Floyd Bloom, M.D. (who is apparently a "top neuroscientist"). This book contains the best neuroscience articles (as selected by Bloom) from the publications "Scientific American" and "Scientific American Mind."

All articles are brief with the shortest ones being 7 pages while the longest one is 15 pages. As well, all articles were originally published between the years 2002 and 2006 (except one that was first published in 1999).

To give the potential reader a "feel" for this book, I will give the exact brief summary found at the beginning of each article:

Part 1 entitled: Mind

(1) Moments of brilliance arise from complex cognitive processes. Piece by piece, researchers are uncovering the secrets of creative thinking.
(2) Activating the brain's circuitry with pulsed magnetic fields may help ease depression, enhance cognition, even fight fatigue.
(3) Neuroscientists are finding that their biological descriptions of the brain may fit together best when integrated by psychological theories that Freud sketched a century ago.
(4) Biologists are beginning to tease out how the brain gives rise to a constant sense of being oneself.
(5) We have long wondered how the conscious mind comes to be. Greater understanding of brain function ought to lead to an eventual solution.
(6) A forecast of the major problems [in neuroscience] scientists need to solve.
Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Both high school and college health libraries and general-interest public lending libraries will relish The Best of the Brain from Scientific American: Mind, Matter, and Tomorrow's Brain. It provides over twenty of the most revealing articles written by lading neuroscientists and science writers covering three key areas in brain research: behavior and cognition, diseases and interactions between body and brain, and man-machine possibilities and treatments. The result is an outstanding survey of the latest brain research findings, suitable for consumers and healthcare students alike.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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By thekat3kits on August 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I actually am going to buy another one. I work at a rehab facility that specializes in brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. This book is full of all aspects of the brain ... biological and psychological and also the newest and latest developments. Awesome book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This work is one of the best primers, I have seen, on advances in knowledge of our brains. It is research based from the foremost neuroscientists and covers the mind/brain/consciosness conundrum and the 'matter' of the brain as well as behaviour. The graphics aid understanding and are superb. Highly recommended.
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