Brainsick: A Physician’s Journey to the Brink
How could a brilliant physician—a noted researcher, medical school dean, and head of pharmaceutical research for an international drug company—miss decades of the telltale signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder until the day when a disordered brain trumped reason, the caring of family, and the power of modern medicine? Is there a road to recovery?
Patients Have Been Too Patient With Basic Research
Steinman has devoted his long career to pioneering studies of immunology. Basic research of this kind has been hugely productive, he says, but its potential benefits for treating serious illnesses are taking too long to reach patients. We are failing to maintain a crucial transmission belt between basic research and clinical applications: the physician-scientist. We must take immediate and effective steps to reverse this trend, because our lives “may one day depend upon the progress of medicine.”
Touching Tastes, Seeing Smells—and Shaking Up Brain Science
People with synesthesia may hear colored sounds or even taste shapes, because the joining of two senses runs through almost every possible combination. New research suggests that what was once seen as merely a bizarre disorder raises knotty questions for brain science and may offer clues to the brain’s mysteries.
Prancing Primates, Turtle with ToysIt’s More Than Just (Animal) Play
Human offspring aren’t the only ones who love to play. In the struggle for survival, why did evolution favor play in species from rats to ravens? Based on new research about the connections between brain development and play, behavioral biologist Dugatkin puts some hypotheses to the test. Why do young ravens play with virtually any new kind of object they encounter but adult ravens fear anything new? Why do fierce older chimps let their little brothers win the tussle? The answers, writes Dugatkin, show that play is serious brain business, both in humans and in other species.
Shock Waves: A Scientist Studies His Stroke
With an international reputation in dream research, Hobson met his toughest analytic challenge in February 2001: his own stroke. With his intellectual abilities intact, Hobson struggled to make sense of mysterious changes in his sleep and dreaming. It was just the beginning.
Brain Books for Budding Scientists—and All Children
One of Cerebrum’s most popular features was the 1999 survey of “Great Brain Books.” But what is out there for kids curious about the most complex, fascinating subject in the known universe? An experienced reviewer of science books for children reports that there is a treasure trove waiting for them. Here are brief reviews of the best-known recent books for young, middle, and older students.