How Much Brain Do We Really Need?
By Jenny Barnett and Alexis Willett
An entertaining and illuminating romp through the brain's past, present and future in search of an answer to whether we really need all of our brain - Which parts matter most? Could we afford to lose any? Is our brain at its evolutionary peak or do we have an even more brilliant future to look forward to?
Your brain is shrinking. Does it matter?
How Much Brain Do We Really Need? challenges us to think differently about the brain. Rather than just concentrating on the many wonderful things it can do, this entertaining insight into the complexities and contradictions of the human brain asks whether in fact we can live satisfactorily without some of it.
The bad news is that our brains start to shrink from our mid-thirties. But the good news is that we still seem to generally muddle along and our brain is able to adapt in extraordinary ways when things going wrong.
Alexis Willett and Jennifer Barnett shed light on what the human brain can do - in both optimal and suboptimal conditions - and consider what it can manage without. Through fascinating facts and figures, case studies and hypothetical scenarios, expert interviews and scientific principles, they take us on a journey from the ancient mists of time to the far reaches of the future, via different species and lands.
Is brain training the key to healthy ageing? Do women really experience 'baby brain'? Is our brain at its evolutionary peak or do we have an even more brilliant future to look forward to? We discover the answers to these questions and more.
Jenny Barnett (Author)
Dr Jenny Barnett is a neuroscientist and psychologist interested in the genetic and environmental causes of brain health and mental illness. Having trained at Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard universities, Jenny has authored more than 50 scientific publications on topics ranging from new treatments for schizophrenia to the economic impact of dementia. She now works at the intersection of academic and industrial research, designing new technologies to help detect, diagnose and treat brain disorders. Her first book, Growing Up Happy, with Alexia Barrable, was published by Robinson in 2016.
Alexis Willett (Author)
Dr Alexis Willett is a science communicator who spends much of her time turning cutting-edge research and health policy jargon into something meaningful for patients, doctors, policy makers and the public. She is often called upon to help influence decision makers, from governments to funding bodies, across the UK and Europe. She has a PhD in biomedical science from the University of Cambridge and, since her partner is a psychiatrist, is used to having her daily conversations dominated by brain-related facts.
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- Publication date:
07 Dec 2017
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