BBC Brain Story: Unlocking our inner world of emotions, memories, ideas and desires

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9780789478399: BBC Brain Story: Unlocking our inner world of emotions, memories, ideas and desires
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The human brain remains the last great unconquered frontier of science. Somehow, that mass of grey sludge locked inside our skulls creates a whole inner world heaving with emotions, memories, ideas and desires. Everything we see, touch, hear and fell -- the illusion of reality -- is generated by this inscrutable organ. For centuries scientist have probed the brain, searching for clues that might shed light on its mysterious workings. Recently, however, with the advent of modern technology and developments in neuroscience, the brain has begun to yield its secrets. The time is ripe to start to make sense of how the brain becomes a mind and how it accounts for our uniquely differing personalities. In this highly readable and often mind-boggling tour, Susan Greenfield brings the reader up to date on the latest theories and controversies. Drawing on the personal stories of many individuals and talking to a wide range of scientists in many parts of the world, she tackles head-on the big questions that touch on all our lives. Where are memories stored? Are our brains a product of nature or nurture? Will we ever build thinking robots? And are free will and consciousness nothing more than illusions produced by the subconscious mind? Illustrated with the latest brain-scanning images that are revolutionizing neuroscience, this book -- which accompanies the BBC television series Brain Story -- gives a fascinating insight into just what makes us tick.

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Review:

What makes the sky blue? Our brains, of course, and superstar neuroscientist Susan Greenfield helps us understand how they work in Brain Story, companion to the BBC series of the same name. Combining a strong sense of history with imaging techniques undreamed of even in the 1970s, she explores memory, emotion, reason, and consciousness with equal aplomb. Precise illustrations help clarify her points when appropriate, and interviews with scientists and neurological patients put human faces on otherwise abstract problems. Greenfield's knack for making scientific experiments and results compelling makes her one of the better science writers active around the turn of this century--and her subject matter is both innately interesting and particularly well-researched. Readers already familiar with the field will get a basic refresher course, but Brain Story is aimed at those with an interest but little scientific education who want to learn about themselves without getting a Ph.D. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

Susan A. Greenfield is Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Professor of Pharmacology at Oxford University and Senior Research Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford. A leading researcher in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, she has broadcast and lectured widely in Great Britain and the United States. She gave the Royal Institution's Christmas Lectures in 1994, the first woman to deliver these lectures since they began in 1826. She is author of Journey to the Centers of the Mind, The Human Brain: A Guided Tour and The Private Life of the Brain, and the editor of Mindwaves and Brain Power.

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