05 November 2014

"Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain" by David Eagleman

I have always thought the brain was cool but in sort of a nebulous, general way. Eagleman writes about many of the most recent findings about the brain and how cool neuroscience is. Most interesting is how much we still do not know or cannot tease out from other things. For example, we know that people use different sides of their brain to do different things, however if half a brain is removed from a child younger than eight, we find no developmental differentiation between the half brained child and a full brained child throughout the rest of their life. We still have yet to understand where all those brain functions went and what they displaced. (As a side note, there are very good medical reasons for removing half a brain--cascading seizures that could lead to death are one--and such operations are not performed arbitrarily "for the sake of science".)

Interesting tidbit: At this point in our research, environment is a better predictor of psychosis than genes.

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