Cerebrum 2008: Emerging Ideas in Brain Science

Edited by Cynthia A. Read
Foreword by Carl Zimmer

Paperback • $14.95 • 225 pages
ISBN: 978-1932594331
Published April 2008

Cerebrum, a one-of-a-kind journal of opinion since 1998, offers inquisitive lay readers insights from prominent neuroscientists and thinkers in fields from philosophy to public policy to the arts. In frequently quoted articles, these authors present, applaud, and protest new ideas arising from discoveries about the brain.

In this second annual anthology, top scientists and scholars interpret the latest discoveries about the human brain and confront their implications for fields from architecture to ethics, music to health care policy. Among the provocative topics are whether free will is an illusion, the risks and rewards of new drugs based on living cells, why remembering our past is essential to envisioning the future, how brain science can inform design of better facilities for people with Alzheimer’s disease, and when using drugs to smooth the daily bumps of our emotional lives might be an ethical choice.

In his foreword, science writer Carl Zimmer says that news about the human brain tends to trigger cyclones of chatter but we often don’t know what to make of the sheer mass of data. The provocative articles in Cerebrum, however, offer a guide to ordering one’s understanding of the brain.

Introduction: Carl Zimmer

Chapter 1: Building for the Shattered Mind: Partnering Brain Science and Architecture, by Kayt Sukel and Russell Epstein, Ph.D.

Chapter 2: Remembering the Past to Imagine the Future, by Karl K. Szpunar and Kathleen B. McDermott, Ph.D.

Chapter 3: Prying into Prions, by Scott P. Edwards

Chapter 4: Protecting the Brain from a Glutamate Storm, by Vivian Teichberg, Ph.D.

Chapter 5: Cerebral Malaria, a Wily Foe, by Kayt Sukel

Chapter 6: Risks and Rewards of Biologics for the Brain, by E. Ray Dorsey, M.D. Philip Vitticore, M.D., and Hamilton Moses III, M.D.

Chapter 7: “Cosmetic Neurology” and the Problem of Pain, by Anjan Chatterjee, M.D.

Chapter 8:  When Music Stops Making Sense, by Petr Janata, Ph.D.

Chapter 9: Seeking Free Will in Our Brains, by Mark Hallett, M.D., and Paul R. McHugh, M.D.

Chapter 10: Stress and Immunity, by Fabienne McKay, M.D.

Chapter 11: Harnessing the Brain’s Power to Adapt after Injury, by Michael Selzer, M.D., Ph.D.

Chapter 12: “Go” and “NoGo” in the Basal Ganglia, by Michael J. Frank, Ph.D.

Chapter 13: Fading Minds and Hanging Chads, by David Drachman, M.D.

Book Reviews

Chapter 14: The Human Experience of Time–Beyond 9 to 5: Your Life in Time-by Sarah Norgate, Reviewed by Lynn Nadel, Ph.D.

Chapter 15: Can Our Minds Change Our Brains?–Train your Mind, Change your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves-by Sharon Begley, Reviewed by Michael J. Friedlander, Ph.D.

Chapter 16: Seeking Insights into the Human Mind in Art and Science–Proust was a Neuroscientist-by Jonah Lehrer, Reviewed by Steven Rose, Ph.D. 


“For stimulating brain fodder, read this compendium of essays from the online journal Cerebrum... The authors are well-respected researchers in their fields, so you get innovating thinking but also varied style... The book serves as an excellent window for the journal.”
    –New Scientist

“Thoughtful integration of ideas from experts in various neuroscientific disciplines addressing real-world problems... Unusually elegantly written for its genre, and worthwhile.”
    –PsycCRITIQUES, the book review publications of the American Psychology Association


"A real intellectual treat... research findings seen not just in their raw state of discovery but in the far-reaching long-term implications they have for health, society, and the future of creativity and innovation."
    –Floyd E. Bloom, M.D., Former editor of Science