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The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind Hardcover – February 25, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-0385530828 ISBN-10: 038553082X Edition: First Edition

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Frequently Bought Together

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind + Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 + Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos
Price for all three: $39.70

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (February 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038553082X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385530828
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Facts to ponder: there are as many stars in our galaxy (about 100 billion) as there are neurons in your brain; your cell phone has more computing power than NASA had when it landed Apollo 11 on the moon. These seemingly unrelated facts tell us two things: our brains are magnificently complex organisms, and science fiction has a way of becoming reality rather quickly. This deeply fascinating book by theoretical physicist Kaku explores what might be in store for our minds: practical telepathy and telekinesis; artificial memories implanted into our brains; and a pill that will make us smarter. He describes work being done right now on using sensors to read images in the human brain and on downloading artificial memories into the brain to treat victims of strokes and Alzheimer’s. SF fans might experience a sort of breathless thrill when reading the book—This stuff is happening! It’s really happening!—and for general readers who have never really thought of the brain in all its glorious complexity and potential, the book could be a seriously mind-opening experience. --David Pitt

Review

Praise for The Future of the Mind,  #1 New York Times Bestseller

 
“Compelling…Kaku thinks with great breadth, and the vistas he presents us are worth the trip”
 
The New York Times Book Review
 
“Intriguing….extraordinary findings…A fascinating sprint through everything from telepathy research to the 147,456 processors of the Blue Gene computer, which has been used to simulate 4.5% of the brain’s synapses and neurons”
—Nature
 
“Fizzes with his characteristic effervescence….Fascinating….. For all his talk of surrogates and intelligent robots, no manufactured being could have a fraction of his charisma.”
The Independent
 
“A mind-bending study of the possibilities of the brain....a clear and readable guide to what is going on at a time of astonishingly rapid change.”
The Telegraph

In this expansive, illuminating journey through the mind, theoretical physicist Kaku (Physics of the Future) explores fantastical realms of science fiction that may soon become our reality. His futurist framework merges physics with neuroscience... applied to demonstrations that “show proof-of-principle” in accomplishing what was previously fictional: that minds can be read, memories can be digitally stored, and intelligences can be improved to great extents. The discussion, while heavily scientific, is engaging, clear, and replete with cinematic references... These new mental frontiers make for captivating reading”
-Publishers Weekly
 
 
“Kaku turns his attention to the human mind with equally satisfying results
…Telepathy is no longer a fantasy since scanners can already detect, if crudely, what a subject is thinking, and genetics and biochemistry now allow researchers to alter memories and increase intelligence in animals. Direct electrical stimulation of distinct brain regions has changed behavior, awakened comatose patients, relieved depression, and produced out-of-body and religious experiences… Kaku is not shy about quoting science-fiction movies and TV (he has seen them all)… he delivers ingenious predictions extrapolated from good research already in progress.”                                                                                                                                     
-Kirkus Reviews

“Facts to ponder: there are as many stars in our galaxy (about 100 billion) as there are neurons in your brain; your cell phone has more computing power than NASA had when it landed Apollo 11 on the moon. These seemingly unrelated facts tell us two things: our brains are magnificently complex organisms, and science fiction has a way of becoming reality rather quickly. This deeply fascinating book by theoretical physicist Kaku explores what might be in store for our minds: practical telepathy and telekinesis; artificial memories implanted into our brains; and a pill that will make us smarter. He describes work being done right now on using sensors to read images in the human brain and on downloading artificial memories into the brain to treat victims of strokes and Alzheimer’s. SF fans might experience a sort of breathless thrill when reading the book—This stuff is happening! It’s really happening!—and for general readers who have never really thought of the brain in all its glorious complexity and potential, the book could be a seriously mind-opening experience.”
-Booklist



Praise for Physics of the Future
 
"[A] wide-ranging tour of what to expect from technological progress over the next century or so.... fascinating—and related with commendable clarity"--Wall Street Journal

"Mind-bending........Kaku has a gift for explaining incredibly complex concepts, on subjects as far-ranging as nanotechnology and space travel, in language the lay reader can grasp....engrossing"--San Francisco Chronicle

"Epic in its scope and heroic in its inspiration"--Scientific American
 
"[Kaku] has the rare ability to take complicated scientific theories and turn them into readable tales about what our lives will be like in the future.....fun...fascinating. And just a little bit spooky"--USA Today
 
Praise for Physics of the Impossible
 
"An invigorating experience"
-The Christian Science Monitor

 
“Kaku's latest book aims to explain exactly why some visions of the future may eventually be realized while others are likely to remain beyond the bounds of possibility. . . . Science fiction often explores such questions; science falls silent at this point. Kaku's work helps to fill a void.”—The Economist
 
“Mighty few theoretical physicists would bother expounding some of these possible impossibilities, and Kaku is to be congratulated for doing so. . . . [He gets] the juices of future physicists flowing.”—Los Angeles Times
 
 
 
 

More About the Author

Michio Kaku is the co-founder of String Field Theory and is the author of international best-selling books such as Hyperspace, Visions, and Beyond Einstein. Michio Kaku is the Henry Semat Professor in Theoretical Physics at the City University of New York.

Customer Reviews

An easy read and very informative.
James E. Montgomery
The physicist, Michio Kaku’s The Future of the Mind may be the best book ever written about consciousness and the brain.
S. Zolotow
Many of the concepts in this book are introduced by way of "This happened in a movie and now it's happening FOR REAL!"
Steve

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

153 of 161 people found the following review helpful By Steve HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Short Review: Interested in getting current with state of the art neuroscience and some philosophical discussions about our brain and consciousness? If so, read this approachable and easy-to-understand book!

Longer Review:

Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist with a knack for explaining difficult concepts with simple analogies and clear descriptions. I've been a fan for some years now, and I thoroughly enjoyed Physics of the Impossible, Parallel Worlds, and Hyperspace. I was a bit surprised when I heard that Kaku was extending a bit outside his theoretical physics wheelhouse to write a book about the brain - but I'm very glad I decided to give this one a read.

After reading this book I feel like I'm much more up to date with where we currently stand when it comes to state-of-the-art neuroscience. Kaku stresses greatly the avalanche of modern neuroscience progress that was triggered by widespread use of MRI technology starting in the 90s, and this new information is forcing us to confront and redevelop longstanding ideas regarding our brains. A discussion of the various technological developments unlocking this new information leads into some philosophical discussion of consciousness and what makes us 'human'.

The bulk of the remainder of The Future of the Mind is focused on how the increase in brain-technology will affect the world, including discussions of telepathy, telekinesis, memory implants, memory recording, potential mental illness cures, brain enhancement, and mind reading. He also discusses different 'types' of consciousness including things like the consciousness of robots and the potential consciousness of alien life forms.
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on December 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The Future of the Mind" by Michio Kaku introduces inquisitive readers to the exciting science of the human mind. Dr. Kaku is perhaps the preeminent popular scientist of our time with numerous books, television productions and media appearances to his credit. This fascinating book will interest everyone who wants to get up to speed on the rapidly evolving field of brain sciences including what the future might hold for humanity.

The book is divided into three sections. `Book I: The Mind and Consciousness' is a brief survey of brain research up to the present day including an overview of how the brain works. `Book II: Mind Over Matter' discusses how science is shedding new light on telepathy, telekinesis, memories and the possibility of enhancing the brain's powers. `Book III: Altered Consciousness' speculates about how humanity's mastery of brain sciences might radically change our destiny on earth and beyond, including allowing us to reach across the universe with our minds.

Of course, Dr. Kaku carefully weighs the myriad ethical issues that inevitably come up when scientists talk about tinkering with the human brain. For example, when discussing the possibility of improving human intelligence, Dr. Kaku points to the benefits of enabling workers to rapidly learn new job skills but also warns about the social disparity that might ensue if such powerful technology is distributed only to the few. More than anything else, Dr. Kaku shares his vision and enthusiasm for where science can lead us. Through his demonstrated command of the subject matter, we become excited not only about the shorter-term promise of discovering more effective treatments for mental illnesses; but also about the longer-term possibility of exploring distant stars using our minds. The end result is a highly engaging book that rewards us with its keen intelligence, compassion and sense of wonder.

I highly recommend this outstanding book to everyone.
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127 of 152 people found the following review helpful By A. Burke VINE VOICE on February 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Although Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist by training, his enthusiasm for neuroscience comes through very clearly. As the title suggests, this new book The Future of the Mind discusses the current state of neurology, bionics, and artificial intelligence, and then forecasts possible breakthroughs in the near and distant future. Kaku's experience in writing popular-level science books is obvious, as it is a fairly easy read with natural break points every 2-3 pages. There are really no dense walls of text to slog through, a definite positive attribute.

If you're an avid reader of popular level books on neurology or psychology, many of the topics may be familiar. There's a discussion of Phineas Gage, an attempt to define consciousness, a look into the new efforts to map the human brain, etc. And this background information is where the book shines. For example, Kaku's description of the CIA's mind control research is pretty interesting, as are his explanations of the current problems in AI research.

The rest of the book, however, reads a lot like articles from Popular Science. Kaku comes across as too optimistic about the future of these research areas, with more focus on what's possible rather than what's likely to happen. One assumes that this book will have to be updated a lot over the next five to ten years, as areas of research change, get delayed, or stall out entirely. And while it's fun to imagine the distant future where people might be able to beam their consciousness to surrogate bodies halfway across the galaxy via wormholes (an actual topic this book covers), I'd rather learn about the technologies which are right around the corner.
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