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The Scientific American Brave New Brain: How Neuroscience, Brain-Machine Interfaces, Neuroimaging, Psychopharmacology, Epigenetics, the Internet, and ... and Enhancing the Future of Mental Power Hardcover – April 5, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470376244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470376249
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This fascinating and highly accessible book presents fantastic but totally feasible projections of what your brain may be capable of in the near future. It shows how scientific breakthroughs and amazing research are turning science fiction into science fact. In this brave new book, you'll explore:
  • How partnerships between biological sciences and technology are helping the deaf hear, the blind see, and the paralyzed communicate.
  • How our brains can repair and improve themselves, erase traumatic memories
  • How we can stay mentally alert longer—and how we may be able to halt or even reverse Alzheimers
  • How we can control technology with brain waves, including prosthetic devices, machinery, computers—and even spaceships or clones.
  • Insights into how science may cure fatal diseases, and improve our intellectual and physical productivity

Judith Horstman presents a highly informative and entertaining look at the future of your brain, based on articles from Scientific American and Scientific American Mind magazines, and the work of today’s visionary neuroscientists.

Top Seven Predictions for the Future of the Brain
Amazon-exclusive content from author Judith Horstman

1) Wi-Fi Everything
Microchips in or on your brain will enhance memory, store data, and connect wirelessly to the internet, eliminating your cell phone and allowing you to control machines or even clones via mental wi-fi. See Chapter 7: Your Bionic Brain.

2) Cures for Dementia
Advances in neuroscience and bioengineering will render Alzheimer's, some brain damage, depression and perhaps even mental retardation largely preventable, curable and possibly reversible for many. See Chapter 3: Manipulating Your Memory.

3) Better Brain Power
Neuroenhancers - from smart pills to implants and devices––will improve thinking, enhance creativity, relieve depression, erase traumatic memories and boost mental endurance. See Chapter 2: Boosting Your Brain Power.

4) Bionic Brain Parts
Merging humans and machines with bionic or biological spare parts that already restore hearing and give sight to the blind could restore movement and speech to the paralyzed––and give super powers to the healthy. See Chapter 7: Your Bionic Brain.

5) Mind-Reading Brain Scans
Neuroimaging that now "reads" brains to detect disease will be able to accurately detect deception, antisocial tendencies, dangerous inclinations, your preference in sexual partners--and possibly predict your behavior. See Chapter 5: Looking Inside Your Brain.

6) Less Brain Surgery
Nanotechnology – the science of small – will be used to float drugs, chemicals and minuscule surgical instruments into your brain to treat tumors, clots and other traumas, and defective genes and cells will be able to be replaced. See Chapter 8: The Possible Dreams.

7) An Ethical Avalanche
The moral, legal and economic fallout from this amazing new technology will keep lawyers, lawmakers and the courts busy for decades dealing with issues of privacy, fairness, civil rights and even what it means to be human. See Chapter 9: Neuroethics; Facing the Dark Side.

From the Inside Flap

The Scientific American Brave New Brain offers a fast-forward look at what's in store for our brains in the very near future—a world where science fiction becomes science fact.

Lightning-quick advances in neuroscience are bringing amazing treatments and startling predictions of what we can expect to both better and boost our brains. This remarkable book reveals what lies ahead over the next few decades and what exists now in brain treatments with biochemistry, drugs, computers, electrical treatments, stem cells, brain chips, and gene manipulation—and the legal, ethical, and moral fallout of all this change and progress.

The Scientific American Brave New Brain explains how our brains make new neurons and what we have to do to keep them, tells how our very thoughts and feelings can change our brains and our genes, and introduces the tremendous promises of nanomedicine—the science of the unimaginably small.

Today, brain pacemakers control tremors and seizures; tomorrow, advances in biochemistry and bioengineering could make Alzheimer's, brain damage, and perhaps even mental retardation preventable, curable, and reversible. Microchips in the brain could enhance memory, restore mental functions, store data, and even control our cell phones.

Bionic or biological spare brain parts that now restore hearing and give sight to the blind could restore movement to the paralyzed—and give the healthy super powers. Brain surgery may be rare, thanks to nanomedicine, and brain scans will identify mental illness and brain disease before symptoms show, "read" minds, and predict and control behavior.

This comprehensive and entertaining look at the wonders in your brain's very near future is written and edited by Judith Horstman, based on the newest research and articles from Scientific American and Scientific American Mind magazines.


More About the Author



Judith Horstman is an award-winning journalist who writes about health and medicine. She has been a Washington correspondent, a journalism professor, a Fulbright scholar, and has written and edited in just about any medium including newspapers, newsletters, special health publications, radio, video, the Internet, annual reports and books.

Over the past four years she has written four popular neuroscience books in collaboration with Scientific American:
"The Scientific American Day in the Life of Your Brain"(2009)
"The Scientific American Brave New Brain" (2010)
"The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex and the Brain"(2011)
"The Scientific American Healthy Aging Brain (May 2012)

She and her aging brain live in California near her children and grandchildren, and travel as widely and often as possible. She is a frequent public speaker and a writing coach and is available for interviews, talks and workshops. Email her at info@judithhorstman.com

More about author and educator Judith Horstman:
Her journalism career spans 40 years, from a small-town newspaper, The Ithaca Journal, to USA Today and Gannett News Service in Washington, D.C. In 1986, she was awarded a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT. From 1988 to 1994, she taught journalism at Keene (N.H.) State College, Oregon State University, Santa Clara (Calif.) University, and in Budapest, Hungary, where she was awarded back-to-back Fulbrights to set up the American Journalism Center and lecture at universities throughout Eastern Europe. While living in Hungary, she wrote the text to a book of photographs by Pulitzer-prize winning photographer Tamás Révész, "Open Air." (http://www.revesz.net/americanwest.html)

She has edited health articles and books for TIME Inc. Health, including "Dr Koop's Self Care Advisor," worked as an editor and writer for the Stanford University Medical Center News Office, and written for the Harvard Heath Letter and Johns Hopkins' White Papers. She was a consultant and editor for a website dedicated to ALS (amytrophic lateral sclerosis) that she helped establish; and contributed as an editor, consultant and writer to a website on lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE).

Ms. Horstman has practiced meditation and yoga for more than 40 years, and is known for her expertise in describing complementary therapies. For many years she was a contributing editor for Arthritis Today, the magazine of the Arthritis Foundation, for which she wrote the well-regarded book, "The Arthritis Foundation's Guide to Alternative Therapies." She has been a Tai Chi student of Dr. Paul Lam, who is the co-author of "Overcoming Arthritis," a 2002 book on complementary therapies and Tai Chi for arthritis. (http://www.taichiproductions.com/secureshop/product.php?ProductID=252)

Customer Reviews

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See all 18 customer reviews
Horstman makes it easy to understand how the brain works, what it does and how we need to take of it.
PsychReader
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the brain without having to read through cryptic and unintelligible textbooks.
Sameer Chervu
It is easy to read and understand and gives you the information without all the research methods which can be boring.
Adele Montrose

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By PsychReader on April 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Horstman makes it easy to understand how the brain works, what it does and how we need to take of it. It is chock-filled with research, new technology and explanations that every health professional and lay person needs to know about the brain. This is a great read. I highly recommend it!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Publicagent on March 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a nice overview of the latest trends in neuroscience. I have enjoyed reading the book, but it's really too short. The font is not huge, but each page could easily fit 1/3 more words. I attribute this to the latest unfortunate trend in publishing where I have noticed attempts to publish short stories, articles, essays and/or novellas as full books at full price. In most popular science books at this price, you will get more than double the amount of words and information. As a result, the topics are not covered at any great depth. Nevertheless, the information inside is enjoyable and entertaining to read.

208 pages? The actual text is only 142. They are including blank pages, introductory pages, index pages, glossary pages and nice color inserts in that total.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By April Deel on April 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The San Francisco Book Review wrote, "this book will amaze the reader," and I find that I have to agree. Anyone with even a passing interest in neuroscience will find Brave New Brain full of interesting and easily accessible information, sure to fascinate and amaze.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deb on September 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Oh, what a fun book this is! (Well, fun if you too are a brain nerd who just can't learn enough about the powers, puzzles, pitfalls, and potential of the human brain.)

The book covers a wide range of fascinating topics including: neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, improving brain power and memory, the effects of digital culture on brains, neuroimaging, rewiring the brain, the merging of brain and machines, stem cells, gene therapy, and nanotechnology, and neuroethics. Judith's writing is superb: she has quite the gift for conveying complex science concepts in a style that is both clear and captivating--and funny at times too. Her skillful writing allows for wrapping your brain around this information to be a simultaneously educational and entertaining experience.

A tour of brain science (past, present, and future) has never been so exhilarating. Enjoy the ride!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Adele Montrose on June 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently finished on a class on biology of the brain so I was excited to read this book. It is easy to read and understand and gives you the information without all the research methods which can be boring. On the other hand it was less detailed than I was hoping. I really wanted to expand my knowledge but most of it I had read or heard about in my class already. I suppose that is why text books cost so much more than books such as these, in the text books you get LOTS of detailed information. This was like a readers digest version meant for someone who is interested but hasn't necessarily taken any advanced biology.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sameer Chervu on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book successfully bridges the gap between technical jargon and lay speak in order to produce a book that is both interesting to the scientific mind and can be comprehended by anyone with a passing interest in the brain. Each chapter begins with a short section which gives an overview of the titular topic's past, present, and potential future in order to give a full scope of progress in the field. The writing, while sometimes a little too casual, is concise and does not over explain any topics to the point where they become random words on a page.

Now for the bad part...this book is entirely too short to be a full book. As publicagent already noted, calling this book 208 pages is a huge misnomer. While it was disappointing to see a much smaller book than I had expected, the content covered in these pages is well written enough to merit four stars. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the brain without having to read through cryptic and unintelligible textbooks. Although, I'd suggest trying to borrow it from a friend or finding it at the library first rather than pay 15 and some change for something that only takes an hour or so to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Scientific American Brave New Brain: How Neuroscience, Brain-Machine Interfaces, Neuroimaging, Psychopharmacology, Epigenetics, the Internet, and ... and Enhancing the Future of Mental Power by Judith Horstman

"The Scientific American Brave New Brain" is a book based on many brain science articles on how many advances in research and technology are changing our brains today and the future. Award-winning journalist, Judith Horstman takes the reader on a journey of brain science; what was yesterday's science fiction is today's science. This brief 208-page book is composed of the following ten chapters: 1. Your Changeable Brain, 2. Boosting Your Brain Power, 3. Manipulating Your Memory, 4. Digital You, 5. Looking Inside Your Brain The Magic of Neuroimaging, Rewiring the Brain Electric, 7. The Bionic Brain, 8. The Possible Dreams, 9. Neuroethics, and 10. The Past Is Prologue.

Positives:
1. Popular science book for the masses. Well-written and engaging.
2. Fascinating topic and articles to match.
3. Great overall format that provides readers with an appetizer of what to expect," in brief", and ends each chapter with a futuristic summary.
4. Great use of popular culture like sci-fi movies to convey scientific concepts.
5. Sets the right tone by providing a good refresher on how the brain works. An excellent overview of what we thought then, what we know now, and what we will know tomorrow.
6. This book really gets you up to date with all the latest findings regarding the brain; as an example neuroplasticity. Some of the research is breathtaking.
7. The impact of epigenetics...the changes in your genes.
8. The benefits of meditation and exercise to the brain. Six drug-free ways to boost your brain.
9.
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