Brain Books for Your Summer Reading List

“The brain has as many neurons as there are stars in the Milky Way.” –Nancy C. Andreasen M.D., Ph.D., Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives member

Cerebrum coverThis summer, as you go on vacation, relax, and ponder the mystery of the cosmos, take a good book with you that will have you contemplating the vastness of your own brain. The following summer reading list suggestions are all by Dana Alliance members or prominent neuroscientists and range from intellectual discovery to children’s poetry. Pick one up, and enjoy!

Cerebrum 2014: Emerging Ideas in Brain Science, edited by Bill Glovin, Dana Press

“The book’s twelve articles and five book reviews cover the science behind the much-hyped cognitive training and brain games industry; the latest in brain-machine interfaces, the role that socioeconomic status plays in brain development, and individual sex differences in the human brain. From understanding induced pluripotent stem cells to the causes and effects of spatial awareness, the latter written by last year’s Nobel prize winners Edvard and May-Britt Moser, the goal of Cerebrum is to take complex research and explain the importance in simple and understandable language.” –Bill Glovin, Dana Foundation Blog

Before I Sleep: Poems for Children Who Think, by Samuel H. Barondes, M.D. North Street Steps Press

“In ‘Before I Sleep,’ Dr. Barondes combines whimsical illustrations by Mark Wooding with poems he recently wrote that he calls contemporary successors to Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses.’ ‘Each is about experiences at home, at school, or at play,’ writes Dr. Barondes. ‘Each invites children to develop a poetic awareness of themselves, of others, and of their place in the world.’” –Columbia Medicine alumni news and notes

Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience, by Michael Gazzaniga, Ph. D., Harper Collins Publishers

Credit/source: Pixabay

Credit/source: Pixabay

“In Tales from Both Sides of the Brain, Gazzaniga tells the impassioned story of his life in science and his decades-long journey to understand how the separate spheres of our brains communicate and miscommunicate with their separate agendas. By turns humorous and moving, Tales from Both Sides of the Brain interweaves Gazzaniga’s scientific achievements with his reflections on the challenges and thrills of working as a scientist. In his engaging and accessible style, he paints a vivid portrait not only of his discovery of split-brain theory, but also of his comrades in arms—the many patients, friends, and family who have accompanied him on this wild ride of intellectual discovery.” – Amazon book description

(We recently wrote a blog about Gazzaniga’s “split brain” discovery and some of the press he’s received for this book.)

Touching a Nerve, by Patricia Churchland, Ph. D., W. W. Norton

“When Galileo announced his observation of Jupiter’s moons, his discovery challenged a deeply entrenched way of thinking about our place in the universe. Modern neuroscience has kindled a similar revolution in the way we think about the brain. In Touching a Nerve, neurophilosopher Churchland argues that all things that we have traditionally ascribed to a higher power—morality, free will, the soul—are in fact products of the brain. The mysterious lump of matter inside our head is responsible not only for everything that makes us human but also for what makes us unique.” –Moheb Costandi, Scientific American MIND

– Betsy Grether

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