From Publishers Weekly
Can the complexities of the human mind be located in a physical organ? Where do our memories and our selves go when the brain dies? In her first book, Stanford medical student Moffett ponders these and other perennial questions through a series of pedestrian profiles of scientists and philosophers, among others. Moffett introduces us to neurosurgeon Roberta Glick, whose work offers a glimpse of the frailty of the human brain and the fact that even minor physical damage to it can whisk away our consciousness and memory forever. Other profiles include John Gabrieli, whose pioneering work with functional MRIs has led to new discoveries about how memory works; sleep researcher Bob Stickgold, who uses functional MRIs and virtual-reality games in an attempt to capture the operation of consciousness in the dream state; and Zen monk Norman Fischer, who teaches Moffett, through meditation, that mind and brain are not synonymous. While the profiles offer no new insights into the mystery of the human brain, Moffett sandwiches in fascinating interludes tracing the development of the brain from embryonic state to death. The interludes sometimes contain overly technical language, but they offer an instructive look at the brain. Line art. Main Selection of the Scientific American Book Club.(Jan. 20)
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A riveting account of not only the newest research on the brain but of the scientists doing the work. -- Seed magazine
Succeeds as both a highly readable and surprisingly suspenseful book, as well as a comprehensively detailed one. -- Bookslut
Vivid and immensely enjoyable . . . both inspiring and entertaining. -- V. S. Ramachandran, author of Phantoms in the Brain and A Brief Tour of Consciousness
With her fascinating, easy-to-digest new book
[Moffett] probes humanitys most well-protected secret. -- Southwest Airlines Spirit