The Three-pound Enigma

The Human Brain and the Quest to Unlock Its Mysteries
Moffett, Shannon, 1972- (Book - 2006)
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The Three-pound Enigma
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Workman Press.
The average human brain weighs three pounds—80 percent of which is water—and yet it's capable of outstripping the computational and storage capacities of the most complex computer. But how the mind works remains one of humankind's greatest mysteries.

With boundless curiosity and enthusiasm, Shannon Moffett, a Stanford medical student, takes us down the halls of neuroscience to the front lines of cutting-edge research and medicine to meet some of today's most extraordinary scientists and thinkers, all grappling with provocative questions: Why do we dream? How does memory work? How do we see? What happens when we think?

Each chapter delves into a different aspect of the brain, following the experts as they chart new ground. Moffett takes us to a lab where fMRI scans reveal the multitude of stimuli that our brains unconsciously take in; inside an operating room where a neurosurgeon removes a bullet from a patient's skull; to the lab of Christof Koch, a neuroscientist tracking individual neurons in order to crack the code of consciousness; and to a research lab where scientists are investigating the relationship between dreams and waking life. She also takes us beyond the scientific world—to a Zen monk's zendo, where she explores the effects of meditation on the brain; inside the home of a woman suffering from dissociative identity disorder; to a conference with the philosopher Daniel Dennett, who uses illusions, magic, tricks, and logic to challenge our assumptions about the mind; and to the home of the late Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, co-discoverer with James Watson of DNA's double-helix structure.

Filled with fascinating case studies and featuring a timeline that tracks the development of the brain from conception to death, The Three Pound Enigma is a remarkable exploration of what it means to be human.

Baker & Taylor
A lively analysis of the complex mysteries of the human brain describes its development from conception to death, profiles some of the leading researchers working to unlock its secrets, and answers questions about such topics as dreams, consciousness, memory, emotion, neuroscience, and more.

& Taylor

Describes the development of the human brain from conception to death, profiles some of the leading researchers working to unlock its secrets, and answers questions about such topics as dreams, consciousness, memory, and emotion.

Authors: Moffett, Shannon, 1972-
Statement of Responsibility: by Shannon Moffett
Title: The three-pound enigma
the human brain and the quest to unlock its mysteries
Publisher: Chapel Hill, NC : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, c2006
Characteristics: x, 309 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [279]-296) and index
Contents: Postconception
Touching the brain
Embryonic period
Watching the brain
Fetal period
Mining the brain
The dreaming brain
Multiple minds
Mind and magic
Old age
Open mind
Mind and body
Subject Headings: Brain Localization of functions Brain
Topical Term: Brain
LCCN: 2005048283
ISBN: 1565124235
Branch Call Number: 612.82 M
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Moffett, Shannon, 1972-
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