The Secret Life of the Brain

Front Cover
Joseph Henry Press, 2001 - Science - 201 pages
Ten years ago, a presidential proclamation ushered in the "Decade of the Brain." We have since realized enormous benefits from this decade of discovery. Scientists now have a better understanding of the complexity of this rather unassuming 3-pound mass of interwoven cells. Over the years, we have gleaned insights into how the brain functions, physically and chemically. We have even seen evidence of how a healthy brain contributes to our overall sense of wellness. Perhaps most important of all, we now -- more than ever -- recognize the awesome power and potential of the human brain. The Secret Life of the Brain tells this fascinating story by tracing the patterns that only careful study has revealed to us.

Starting with the earliest hint of neurological development, we explore the terrain of the infant brain. Because of the brain's basic plasticity at this and other stages, if you change the experiences, you change the brain. Equal parts fragile and tenacious, development continues unabated across the entire life span through five specific stages: gestation, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. In each of these phases, the opportunities are abundant, while the dangers remain equally apparent. Like a muscle in our arms or legs, if we ignore the brain, leave it untended, it becomes flaccid and slow.

The Secret Life of the Brain explores each of these five stages in detail. Like the PBS series of the same name, the complex subject of leading-edge brain science is presented in terms accessible to all and brought to life through anecdotes and real-life stories. Told by best-selling author Dr. Richard Restak, the majesty and the mystery of human intelligence are unveiled.Full-color photographs and original illustrations adorn each page, bringing the science to life in grand and glorious ways.

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The secret life of the brain

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This companion volume to an upcoming PBS series presents an engaging introduction to the development of the human brain. The author of numerous books about the brain (e.g., Mozart's Brain and the ... Read full review

About the author (2001)

He is a neuropsychiatrist and clinical professor of neurology at George Washington University Medical Center. Author of the bestselling The Brain, a companion to the PBS series of the same name, as well as The Mind and The Brain Has a Mind of Its Own, he lives in Washington, D.C.

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