The most complex and mysterious object in the universe is unprepossessing in appearance. It is covered in a dull grey membrane, resembles a gigantic, convoluted fungus and its inscrutability has captivated scientists, philosophers and artists for centuries. It is, of course, the human brain.
New technological developments help us understand how the brain gives rise to the human mind. We can now see the extraordinary complexity of the brainÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂs circuits, watch which regions use energy and which nerve cells generate electricity as we fall in love, tell a lie or dream of a lottery win. And inside the 100 billion cells of this rubbery network is something remarkable: you. In this entertaining and accessible book, Robert Winston takes us deep into the workings of the human mind, revealing how our senses, emotions and personality are the result of a ballet of genes and environment that shapes the path of our lives. Here, as he explains how memories are formed and lost, and how the ever-changing brain is responsible for toddler tantrums, teenage angst and the battle of the sexes, he also reveals the truth behind extra-sensory perception, dÃÂÃÂ©jÃÂÃÂ vu and out-of-body experiences.
And as we discover how we can boost our intelligence, tap into creative powers we never knew we had, break old habits and keep our brains fit and active as we enter old age, we also face one great paradox. Because the human mind is all we have to enable us to understand it, it is perfectly possible that science may never quite explain everything about the remarkable mechanism that makes each of us unique. First published 2003.
A fascinating insight into how the mind really works.