Cover image for The Scientific American book of the brain
The Scientific American book of the brain
Damasio, Antonio R.
Publication Information:
New York : Lyons Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
340 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Added Author:
Added Uniform Title:
Scientic American.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QP360.5 .S35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
QP360.5 .S35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QP360.5 .S35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Twenty-six articles first published in Scientific American are arranged in sections on mapping the brain, reasoning and intelligence, memory and learning, behavior, disease of the brain and disorder of the mind, and consciousness. The authors, experts in the various aspects of neuroscience, address such topics as the genetics of cognitive abilities and disabilities, the split brain revisited, the neurobiology of fear, depression, Parkinson's disease, and the puzzle of conscious experience. The material is written at a level accessible to the serious lay person or nonspecialist. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Author Notes

Antonio Damasio was born in Lisbon, Portugal and studied medicine at the University of Lisbon Medical School, where he also did his neurological residency and completed his doctorate. Eventually, he moved to the United States as a research fellow at the Aphasia Research Center in Boston. From 1976 to 2005, he was M.W. Van Allen Professor and Head of Neurology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He is currently the David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Neurology, and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California.

He has written several books on his research including Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, which won the Science et Vie prize; The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness; and Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain. He has also received the Prince of Asturias Award in Science and Technology, the Kappers Neuroscience Medal, the Beaumont Medal from the American Medical Association, the Nonino Prize, the Reenpaa Prize in Neuroscience, and the Honda Prize.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The contributors to this collection of clear, up-to-date articles on "brainology" have all been involved in relevant research. The articles themselves include overviews of research and clinical medicine and focused discussions of such specific diseases as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and depression. They not only present recent accomplishments and research but also show, most intriguingly, how brain scientists think about a problem and develop its solution. Their main common theme is the manifold relations between the brain and the mind. Abundantly informative, they also destroy many myths. Consciousness is thoroughly discussed by three authors who define the subject, discuss what is known and hypothesized about its roles and procedures, and examine methods for studying it. Readers who can stay with fairly technical material will learn much from this Scientific American product, and younger ones may even pick up ideas for careers. William Beatty

Library Journal Review

Anthologies like these are reliable money-makers for publishers, but they are often regarded with ambivalence by librarians because their contents are reprints of articles usually available elsewhere. In these books, the editors of the venerable Scientific American have selected what they declare to be the "best" articles from recent issues and arranged them in topical sectionsÄ"Astronomy" has chapters on stars, galaxies, and the universe, for example. But this kind of organization lends only a superficial cohesiveness, because each of these articles was written to stand alone, and although each one covers its specific topic admirably, the sampling barely represents current knowledge in the broader field; most science reference librarians would be able to recommend any number of recent monographs that cover these subjects more comprehensively. Among these, ironically, would be two books by the scholars who wrote introductions to these volumes: Timothy Ferris's The Whole Shebang and Antonio Damasio's Descartes' Error. Make no mistake, however: because of the books' high quality, they'd surely circulate in public libraries. Some of the articles (like Guth's piece on the inflationary universe, Rubin's on dark matter, Crick's on consciousness, and Nemeroff's on depression) might even be considered classics of popular science. Still, library budgets are lean; unless your library does not subscribe to Scientific American, this is an optional purchase.ÄGregg Sapp, Univ. of Miami Lib., Coral Gables, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-What is the mechanism by which we see? How do we remember things, and why do some people recall things that never happened? Why do some people dazzle us with their intelligence while others struggle with the most basic learning tasks? Are male and female brains the same? Is homosexuality biologically based? Can Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases be prevented? For readers who wonder about the brain and the roles it plays in all human endeavors, this collection of articles on various aspects of research offers fascinating answers while raising new questions, both scientific and philosophical. It's worth noting that more than half of the articles were written before 1995 and have been culled from past issues of Scientific American magazine; given the pace of recent discoveries, the book may not represent the "waterfront of contemporary neuroscience" claimed in the introduction. Its wide range does offer students a smorgasbord of topics to explore and discuss. Surprisingly, it offers no resources for further study. Nevertheless, it's a worthwhile purchase for any high school in which advanced psychology and biology are studied.-Jan Tarasovic, West Springfield High School, Fairfax County, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.