By David Bainbridge

In his most modern booklet, David Bainbridge combines an otherworldly trip in the course of the vital frightened procedure with an available and exciting account of ways the brain's anatomy has frequently misled anatomists approximately its functionality. Bainbridge makes use of the constitution of the mind to set his ebook except the various volumes that concentrate on mind functionality. He indicates that for centuries, common philosophers were drawn to the grey topic inside of our skulls, yet all that they had to head on was once its constitution. virtually each knob, protrusion, canal, and crease was once named sooner than someone had an inkling of what it did--a form of organic terra incognita with many strange names: the zonules of Zinn, the obex ("the so much Scrabble-friendly notice in all of neuroanatomy"), the aqueduct of Sylvius, the tract of Goll. This uniquely available technique lays out what's recognized concerning the mind (its structure), what we will desire to grasp (its function), and what we may possibly by no means recognize (its evolution). alongside the best way Bainbridge tells plenty of significant tales concerning the "two kilos of blancmange" inside our skulls, and tells all of them with wit and magnificence. (20080101)

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Extra info for Beyond the Zonules of Zinn: A Fantastic Journey Through Your Brain

Example text

We will worry about the knowability or unknowability of other aspects of the brain in later chapters, but for now one thing is clear—unlike other fields of neuroscience, the anatomy of the brain is relatively accepted. It is as close to a fact as anything in science can be. It is a far more stable platform on which to start than by worrying about consciousness, intelligence, emotion, self, or soul—all entities or processes that we cannot even define properly, and that we rarely use in our daily lives.

Some of these will be rather unsurprising—such as the clusters of sound-processing cells near where the nerves from the ears enter the brain. Other examples are more striking—stimulation or damage to small parts of the brain can evoke or destroy memories of specific musical passages, affect abilities to conjugate verbs, or even cause experiences of déjà vu. Localization of brain function in this way must be viewed with caution. Admittedly we have learned a great deal from electrodes and injuries, and it is probably fair to assume that if electrically stimulating 36 a grand tour of terra incognita a region of the brain stimulates a process, or if damaging that region prevents it, then that region may be involved in that activity.

Thus, whenever we speak of parts of the brain—and we will speak of many of them in this book— we usually have to use words that have nothing at all to do with what we are trying to say about those parts. For me the fact that the internal parts of the brain are labeled with names entirely dislocated from their function is what makes the brain so wonderful, and it has led to two delightful results. The first of these is that the brain is endowed with a set of names that puts all other fields of science to shame.

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