How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are

Book - 2013
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"This is complicated stuff, and it is a testament to Dr. Seung's remarkable clarity of exposition that the reader is swept along with his enthusiasm, as he moves from the basics of neuroscience out to the farthest regions of the hypothetical, sketching out a spectacularly illustrated giant map of the universe of man."--Abigail Zuger, M.D., New York Times

Every person is unique, but science has struggled to pinpoint where, precisely, that uniqueness resides. Our genome may determine our eye color and even aspects of our character. But our friendships, failures, and passions also shape who we are. The question is: how?

Sebastian Seung is at the forefront of a revolution in neuroscience. He believes that our identity lies not in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells--our particular wiring. Seung and a dedicated group of researchers are leading the effort to map these connections, neuron by neuron, synapse by synapse. It's a monumental effort, but if they succeed, they will uncover the basis of personality, identity, intelligence, memory, and perhaps disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

Connectome is a mind-bending adventure story that presents a daring scientific and technological vision for understanding what makes us who we are, both as individuals and as a species.

"Accessible, witty, imminently logical and at times poetic, Connectome establishes Seung as an important new researcher, philosopher and popularizer of brain science. It puts him on par with cosmology's Brian Greene and the late Carl Sagan."-- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Publisher: Boston : Mariner Books, 2013.
ISBN: 9780547678597
Characteristics: xxii, 359 p. :,ill. ;,21 cm.


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Jun 16, 2012

Thoroughly disappointing.

Reads like a college student who, having read a bunch of books, decides to write something to demonstrate his reading.

Does mention the major finding of the past decade, the "Jennifer Aniston" neuron (i.e., a single neuron reacting to visual stimulus of a celebrity, etc.). Illustrative of possibility of Penrose's theory of neuron structure being correct, but this author knows nothing of that and doesn't mention it -- his writing on that finding is sloppy and slap dash!

Might be better served simply to read up on Diffusion Tensor Imaging -- although this book might serve as a primer to basic neuroscience?

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