It somehow seemed appropriate that this year’s Cerebrum anthology arrived at our offices just in time for the start of Brain Awareness Week (BAW), the global campaign to raise awareness on the progress and benefits of brain research. Cerebrum has the same goal that inspired the Dana Foundation’s idea for BAW in 1996. We just go about it a little differently.
The anthology asks neuroscientists to explain the importance of complex research and public policy issues in simple and understandable language to anyone interested in the brain. It consists of articles and book reviews featured each month during 2016 on the web. As the editor, I’m confident that this year’s stories help raise awareness on the progress and benefits of brain research.
Among the articles in this year’s book: Shekhar Saxena of the World Health Organization and Patricio Marquez of the World Bank write about possible solutions to a rising global mental health problem; Karel Svoboda examines two-photon microscopy, a method that allows scientists to peer further into the brain than ever before; and David C. Van Essen and Matthew F. Glasser write about the progress and prospects of the Human Connectome Project. Among the four book reviews by neuroscientists is Bradley E. Alger relating his own research experience in discussing David Casarett’s Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana.
We are honored to have Guy McKhann, M.D., founding director of the Krieger Mind-Brain Institute at Johns Hopkins University and scientific adviser to the Dana Foundation, write the foreword. He discusses one of the hottest topics in the field: gene editing and its potential to affect brain disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The cover is a captivating illustration by William Hogan, whose work is featured in many of our online articles throughout the year. His drawing is a fitting glimpse to what follows on the pages: a greater understanding of the human condition and how advances in brain research help us lead longer, healthier lives.