Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century (Abrams, November 2010) follows the fascinating exploration of the brain through images. These beautiful black-and-white and vibrantly colored images, many resembling abstract art, are employed daily by scientists around the world, but most have never before been seen by the general public. From medieval sketches and 19th-century drawings by the founder of modern neuroscience to images produced using state-of-the-art techniques, readers are invited to witness the fantastic networks in the brain.
Each chapter in Portraits of the Mind addresses a different set of techniques for studying the brain, and each is introduced with an essay by a leading scientist in that field of study. Extended captions provide detailed explanations of each image as well as the major insights gained by scientists over the course of the past twenty years. The result is a peek at the mind's innermost workings, helping readers to understand, and offering clues about what may lie ahead.
"Portraits of the Mind
achieves a rare combination of beauty and knowledge."
, author of Soul Made Flesh
and The Mind's Eye Goes Blind
"John Keats's insistence that truth is beauty is exemplified by Carl Schoonover's wonderful book, Portraits of the Mind
. Since one cannot understand the present without examining the past, this book offers a delightful and instructive way of accomplishing just that."
ERIC R. KANDEL
, MD, Nobel laureate and author of In Search of Memory
"Portraits of the Mind
is a remarkable book that combines beautifully reproduced illustrations of the nervous system as it has been visualized over the centuries, as well as lively and authoritative commentaries by some of today's leading neuroscientists. It will be enjoyed by professionals and general readers alike."
, MD, author of Why We See What We Do
, Brains: How They Seem to Work
, and Principles of Neural Development
About the Essay Contributors
Jonah Lehrer (foreword) graduated from Columbia University and studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist. He is a contributing editor at Wired, Scientific American Mind, and National Public Radio's Radio Lab. He has written for the New Yorker, Nature, Seed, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe.
Dr. Nicholas Wade is a professor emeritus of psychology at University of Dundee and the author of A Natural History of Vision.
Dr. Javier DeFelipe is a professor of neurobiology at the Cajal Institute and the author of Butterflies of the Soul.
Dr. Joshua R. Sanes is a professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard University.
Dr. Maryann Martone and Dr. Mark Ellisman are the codirector and director of the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research at the University of California, San Diego.
Dr. Michael Goldberg is the David Mahoney Professor of Brain and Behavior at Columbia University, and the current president of the Society for Neuroscience.
Dr. Terrence Sejnowski is the director of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and the author of The Computational Brain and Liars, Lovers and Heroes: What the New Brain Science Reveals About How We Become Who We Are.
Dr. Joy Hirsch is a professor of functional neuroradiology and the director of the Program for Imaging and Cognitive Sciences at Columbia University.
Carl Schoonover is a neuroscience PhD candidate at Columbia University, the author of Portraits of the Mind
, and has written for The New York Times
, Le Figaro
, and Scientific American
. He is a cofounder of NeuWrite
, a collaborative working group for scientists, writers, and those in between, and hosts a radio show on WKCR 89.9FM, which focuses on opera, classical music, and their relationship to the brain.
He currently lives in New York City and works on microanatomy and electrophysiology of rodent somatosensory cortex in the Bruno laboratory at Columbia University Medical Center. He is a former NSF Graduate Research Fellow and a 2012 TED Fellow.
(c) Elaine Zhang