Synopses & Reviews
“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
Following up his 1996 "The Emotional Brain, " the world-renowned brain expert presents a groundbreaking work that tells a more profound story: how the little spaces between the neurons--the brain's synapses--are the channels through which we think, feel, imagine, act, and remember.
In 1996 Joseph LeDoux's The Emotional Brain presented a revelatory examination of the biological bases of our emotions and memories. Now, the world-renowned expert on the brain has produced with a groundbreaking work that tells a more profound story: how the little spaces between the neurons—the brain's synapses—are the channels through which we think, act, imagine, feel, and remember. Synapses encode the essence of personality, enabling each of us to function as a distinctive, integrated individual from moment to moment. Exploring the functioning of memory, the synaptic basis of mental illness and drug addiction, and the mechanism of self-awareness, Synaptic Self is a provocative and mind-expanding work that is destined to become a classic.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 359-392) and index.
A comprehensive and accessible exploration of anxiety, from a leading neuroscientist and the author of Synaptic Self
Collectively, anxiety disorders are our most prevalent psychiatric problem, affecting about forty million adults in the United States. In Anxious, Joseph LeDoux, whose NYU lab has been at the forefront of research efforts to understand and treat fear and anxiety, explains the range of these disorders, their origins, and discoveries that can restore sufferers to normalcy.
LeDouxand#8217;s groundbreaking premise is that weand#8217;ve been thinking about fear and anxiety in the wrong way. These are not innate states waiting to be unleashed from the brain, but experiences that we assemble cognitively. Treatment of these problems must address both their conscious manifestations and underlying non-conscious processes. While knowledge about how the brain works will help us discover new drugs, LeDoux argues that the greatest breakthroughs may come from using brain research to help reshape psychotherapy.
A major work on our most pressing mental health issue, Anxious explains the science behind fear and anxiety disorders.
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