The Brain: Past, Present, Future

There is a recently published book that I would recommend to anyone interested in the brain, cognition, neuroscience, or in how to keep their memory healthy. In other words this is a book that should interest anyone who reads the Healthymemory Blog. This is a publication from Scientific American, more specifically Scientific American Mind, titled, Brave New Brain,by Judith Horstman. The following is taken from the cover, “How Neuroscience, Brain-Machine Interfaces, Neuroimaging, Psychopharmacology, The Internet, and our Own Minds are Stimulating and Enhancing the Future of Mental Power.” This book consists of 176 pages and is an easy read.

For anyone who wants to learn where the study of the brain was, where it is now, and where it might takes us in the future, this is definitely the book. The book contains color plates of pictures of the brain, showing where the important parts are and how they look. There are also pictorial representation of neuronal and epigenetic activity. Two pages contain a chart titled “The Way We Were” contain eleven ideas ranging from stroke to consciousness with brief synopses of what was once thought, what is now thought, and what tomorrow might bring. In just these two pages one can become informed and enlightened.

This book is more than informative; it is fun, particularly the conjectures about what the future might bring. However, I would encourage readers to bring a good deal of skepticism to their consideration. I am at the leading edge (born in 1946) of the baby boomers. I have distinct memories of what we were told our future lives would be like. For example, there would be no energy problem. We would be using nuclear energy and the pesky problem of what to do with nuclear waste would have been solved. We would be flying helicopters as personal vehicles. The work week would be much shorter, and we would have many more hours of leisure and free time. I find this last prediction particularly ironic. At that time, working mothers were the exception and not the norm. Now both partners typically work and usually full time. What happened to all those leisure hours that were predicted?

Now there was one item that permeates our lives that was not predicted. That one is personal computers. If there is anything I envy most about the younger generations is their access to personal computers. I wish that my formal education had included them.

Subsequent Healthmemory Blog postings will delve somewhat deeper into the research and ideas presented in Brave New Brain. There is much there worthy of future consideration

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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