Tales from Both Sides of the Brain
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Tales from Both Sides of the Brain : A Life in Neuroscience

3.57 (369 ratings by Goodreads)

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Michael S. Gazzaniga, one of the most important neuroscientists of the twentieth century, gives us an exciting behind-the-scenes look at his seminal work on that unlikely couple, the right and left brain. Foreword by Steven Pinker.

In the mid-twentieth century, Michael S. Gazzaniga, "the father of cognitive neuroscience," was part of a team of pioneering neuroscientists who developed the now foundational split-brain brain theory: the notion that the right and left hemispheres of the brain can act independently from one another and have different strengths.

In Tales from Both Sides of the Brain, Gazzaniga tells the impassioned story of his life in science and his decades-long journey to understand how the separate spheres of our brains communicate and miscommunicate with their separate agendas. By turns humorous and moving, Tales from Both Sides of the Brain interweaves Gazzaniga's scientific achievements with his reflections on the challenges and thrills of working as a scientist. In his engaging and accessible style, he paints a vivid portrait not only of his discovery of split-brain theory, but also of his comrades in arms--the many patients, friends, and family who have accompanied him on this wild ride of intellectual discovery.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 428 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 25mm | 318g
  • Ecco Press
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062228854
  • 9780062228857
  • 339,866

Review quote

-Gazzaniga ... gives us insight into the importance of his role as an inspired educator who single-handedly established the field of cognitive neuroscience.... The thrill of his journey reveal a life that has been enriched by science and enhanced by family, friends, fun, and humor.---Emilio Bizzi, Ph.D, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Back cover copy

With a Foreword by Steven Pinker

In Tales from Both Sides of the Brain, Michael S. Gazzaniga tells the story of his passionate, entrepreneurial life in science and his decades-long journey to understand how the separate spheres of our brains communicate and miscommunicate their separate agendas. From his time as an ambitious undergraduate at Dartmouth, as a member of its now famed "Animal House" fraternity, and his life as a diligent graduate student in California to the first experiments he conducted in his own lab; from meeting his first split-brain patients and his collaboration with esteemed intellectuals across disciplines, Gazzaniga recounts the trajectory of his discoveries. In his engaging and accessible style, he paints a vivid portrait not only of his discovery of split-brain theory, but also of his comrades-in-arms--the many patients, friends, and family members who have accompanied him on this wild ride of intellectual discovery.

"The idea that one skull can house two minds, each with a measure of autonomy, has also given way to the idea that we all have 'multiple minds' operating as a 'confederation, ' according to Gazzaniga. How this system creates a seemingly unified mind . . . remains a compelling question." --New York Times Book Review

"Tales will be cataloged as scientific autobiography. . . . But it is as much a book about gratitude--for the chance to study a subject as endlessly fascinating as the brain, for the author's brilliant colleagues and . . . for the patients who taught him . . . so much." --Wall Street Journal

"The personal story of a genius famous for one of the rare major discoveries ever made out in the still vast, still baffling terra incognita of the human brain, namely, the split-brain phenomenon." --Tom Wolfe, author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Right Stuff
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Rating details

369 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 19% (69)
4 36% (133)
3 33% (121)
2 9% (35)
1 3% (11)
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