New Books Network

Dr. Christopher Harris on Teaching Neuroscience
Dr. Christopher Harris (@chrisharris) is a neuroscientist, engineer and educator at the EdTech company Backyard Brains. He is principal investigator on an NIH-funded project to develop brain-based robots for neuroscience education. In their recent open-access research paper, Dr. Harris and his team describe, and present results from, their classroom-based pilots... Read More
Robert Kolker, “Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of An American Family” (Doubleday, 2020)
Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of An American Family (Doubleday, 2020) is the story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science’s great hope in the quest to understand the disease. Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the... Read More
Joseph E. Davis, “Chemically Imbalanced: Everyday Suffering, Medication, and Our Troubled Quest for Self-Mastery” (U Chicago Press, 2020)
Everyday suffering—those conditions or feelings brought on by trying circumstances that arise in everyone’s lives—is something that humans have grappled with for millennia. But the last decades have seen a drastic change in the way we approach it. In the past, a person going through a time of difficulty might... Read More
Nick Chater, “The Mind Is Flat: The Remarkable Shallowness of the Improvising Brain” (Yale UP, 2019)
Psychologists and neuroscientists struggle with how best to interpret human motivation and decision making. The assumption is that below a mental “surface” of conscious awareness lies a deep and complex set of inner beliefs, values, and desires that govern our thoughts, ideas, and actions, and that to know this depth... Read More
Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, “NeuroScience Fiction” (Benbella Books, 2020)
In NeuroScience Fiction (Benbella Books, 2020), Rodrigo Quian Quiroga shows how the outlandish premises of many seminal science fiction movies are being made possible by new discoveries and technological advances in neuroscience and related fields. Along the way, he also explores the thorny philosophical problems raised as a result, diving into... Read More
Ann-Sophie Barwich, “Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind” (Harvard UP, 2020)
In Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind (Harvard UP, 2020), cognitive scientist, empirical philosopher & historian of science, technology, and the senses A. S. Barwich asks a deceptively simple question: What does the nose tell the brain, and how does the brain understand it? Barwich interviews experts in neuroscience,... Read More
György Buzsáki, “The Brain from Inside Out” (Oxford UP, 2019)
In The Brain from Inside Out (Oxford University Press, 2019), György Buzsáki contrasts what he terms the ‘outside-in’ and ‘inside-out’ perspectives on neuroscientific theory and research methodology. The ‘outside-in’ approach, which he sees as dominating thinking in the field at present and in most of recent history, conceptualizes the brain as... Read More
Danielle Giffort, “Acid Revival: The Psychedelic Renaissance and the Quest for Medical Legitimacy” (U Minnesota Press, 2020)
Psychedelic drugs are making a comeback. In the mid-twentieth century, scientists actively studied the potential of drugs like LSD and psilocybin for treating mental health problems. After a decades-long hiatus, researchers are once again testing how effective these drugs are in relieving symptoms for a wide variety of psychiatric conditions,... Read More
Jonathan Erickson, “Imagination in the Western Psyche: From Ancient Greece to Modern Neuroscience” (Routledge, 2019)
Imagination is one of the most important elements of being human, but is most often assumed we know what it is, while rarely being analyzed. Here with me today is Jonathan Erickson to discuss his recent book Imagination in the Western Psyche: From Ancient Greece to Modern Neuroscience (Routledge, 2019).... Read More
Judith Grisel, “Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction” (Doubleday, 2019)
Not a lot of authors go from spending their early twenties homeless and addicted to cocaine to becoming one of the world’s leading researchers on the neuroscience of addiction. But Dr. Judith Grisel, in her new book Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction (Doubleday, 2019), uses her personal... Read More