101 Theory Drive: a Neuroscientist's Quest for Memory

Terry McDermott

Published by Pantheon, 2010
ISBN 10: 0375425381 / ISBN 13: 9780375425387
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Synopsis: An obsessive scientist and his eclectic team of researchers race to discover one of the hidden treasures of neuroscience—the physical makeup of memory—and in the process pursue a pharmaceutical wonder drug.
Gary Lynch is the real thing, the epitome of the rebel scientist: malnourished, contentious, inspiring, explosive, remarkably ambitious, and consistently brilliant. He is one of the foremost figures of contemporary neuroscience, and his decades-long quest to understand the inner workings of the brain’s memory machine has begun to pay off.
 
Award-winning journalist Terry McDermott spent nearly two years observing Lynch at work and now gives us a fascinating and dramatic account of daily life in his lab—the highs and lows, the drudgery and eureka moments, the agonizing failures. He provides detailed, lucid explanations of the cutting-edge science that enabled Lynch to reveal the inner workings of the molecular machine that manufactures memory. After establishing the building blocks, Lynch then set his sights on uncovering the complicated structure of memory as it is stored across many neurons. Adding practical significance to his groundbreaking work, Lynch discovered a class of drugs that could fix the memory machine when it breaks, drugs that would enhance brain function during the memory process and that hold out the possibility of cures for a wide range of neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Here is an essential story of science, scientists, and scientific achievement—galvanizing in the telling and thrilling in its far-reaching implications.

Review: Amazon Exclusive: Terry McDermott on 101 Theory Drive

Neuroscientist Gary Lynch, almost a cult figure in some circles, has spent four decades searching for one thing--the mechanism by which the human brain makes memories. For most of human history, scientists who wanted to investigate memory, or any other cognitive process, had been forced to stand outside the brain and guess what was going on in the lost world inside. The tools and abilities hadn’t existed to look directly for the answers to questions they wanted to ask. They were little better than monkeys climbing over the wreckage of a downed airliner, Lynch thought. In the second half of the 20th century, Lynch’s generation for the first time moved the search into the complex machinery of the brain’s interior. The move from outside in had finally given them a fighting chance to uncover the molecular mechanisms of the brain--to learn what actually happens when people think and talk, how they learn and remember. When I first met him in 2004, Lynch thought he was at the threshhold of addressing some of the fundamental questions of the human condition. He invited me to his lab to watch as he made one final attempt to throw open the door and see inside. 101 Theory Drive is an account of what I saw. --Terry McDermott

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Title: 101 Theory Drive: a Neuroscientist's Quest ...
Publisher: Pantheon
Publication Date: 2010
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New
Edition: First Edition..

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