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Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are


Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“This is complicated stuff, and it is a testament to Dr. Seung’s remarkable clarity of exposition that the reader is swept along with his enthusiasm, as he moves from the basics of neuroscience out to the farthest regions of the hypothetical, sketching out a spectacularly illustrated giant map of the universe of man.”—Abigail Zuger, M.D., New York Times

Every person is unique, but science has struggled to pinpoint where, precisely, that uniqueness resides. Our genome may determine our eye color and even aspects of our character. But our friendships, failures, and passions also shape who we are. The question is: how?

Sebastian Seung is at the forefront of a revolution in neuroscience. He believes that our identity lies not in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells—our particular wiring. Seung and a dedicated group of researchers are leading the effort to map these connections, neuron by neuron, synapse by synapse. It’s a monumental effort, but if they succeed, they will uncover the basis of personality, identity, intelligence, memory, and perhaps disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

Connectome is a mind-bending adventure story that presents a daring scientific and technological vision for understanding what makes us who we are, both as individuals and as a species.

“Accessible, witty, imminently logical and at times poetic, Connectome establishes Seung as an important new researcher, philosopher and popularizer of brain science. It puts him on par with cosmology’s Brian Greene and the late Carl Sagan.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer


The audacious effort to map the brain—and along with it our mental afflictions, from autism to schizophrenia—by a rising star in neuroscience.

About the Author

Sebastian Seung is Professor of Computational Neuroscience at MIT and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has made important advances in robotics, neuroscience, neuroeconomics, and statistical physics. His research has been published in leading scientific journals, and also featured in the New York Times, Technology Review, and the Economist.

Table of Contents

Introduction • ix

Part I: Does Size Matter?

 1 Genius and Madness • 3

 2 Border Disputes • 22

Part II: Connectionism

 3 No Neuron Is an Island • 39

 4 Neurons All the Way Down • 60

 5 The Assembly of Memories • 76

Part III: Nature and Nurture

 6 The Forestry of the Genes • 99

 7 Renewing Our Potential • 116

Part IV: Connectomics

 8 Seeing Is Believing • 137

 9 Following the Trail • 155

 10 Carving • 170

 11 Codebreaking • 185

 12 Comparing • 201

 13 Changing • 216

Part V: Beyond Humanity

 14 To Freeze or to Pickle? • 233

 15 Save As . . . • 254

Epilogue • 274

Acknowledgments • 277

Notes • 279

References • 314

Figure Credits • 335

Index • 336

Product Details

How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are
Seung, Sebastian
Mariner Books
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Mind and Consciousness
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Neurobiology

Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are Sale Trade Paper
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The audacious effort to map the brain—and along with it our mental afflictions, from autism to schizophrenia—by a rising star in neuroscience.
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