9780307907493

Livewired

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780307907493

  • ISBN10:

    030790749X

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2020-08-25
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books

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Summary

"Eagleman renders the secrets of the brain’s adaptability into a truly compelling page-turner.” Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner

Livewired reads wonderfully like what a book would be if it were written by Oliver Sacks and William Gibson, sitting on Carl Sagan’s front lawn.” The Wall Street Journal

What does drug withdrawal have in common with a broken heart? Why is the enemy of memory not time but other memories? How can a blind person learn to see with her tongue, or a deaf person learn to hear with his skin? Why did many people in the 1980s mistakenly perceive book pages to be slightly red in color? Why is the world’s best archer armless? Might we someday control a robot with our thoughts, just as we do our fingers and toes? Why do we dream at night, and what does that have to do with the rotation of the Earth?
 
The answers to these questions are right behind our eyes. The greatest technology we have ever discovered on our planet is the three-pound organ carried in the vault of the skull. This book is not simply about what the brain is; it is about what it does. The magic of the brain is not found in the parts it’s made of but in the way those parts unceasingly reweave themselves in an electric, living fabric.

In Livewired, you will surf the leading edge of neuroscience atop the anecdotes and metaphors that have made David Eagleman one of the best scientific translators of our generation. Covering decades of research to the present day, Livewired also presents new discoveries from Eagleman’s own laboratory, from synesthesia to dreaming to wearable neurotech devices that revolutionize how we think about the senses.

Author Biography

Dr. DAVID EAGLEMAN is a neuroscientist and internationally best-selling author. He teaches brain plasticity at Stanford University, is the cre­ator and host of the Emmy-nominated television series The Brain, and is the CEO of Neosensory, a company that builds the next generation of neuroscience hardware. The author of seven previous books, Eagleman lives in Silicon Valley in California.

Table of Contents

1 The Delicate Pink Magisterium
The Child with Half a Brain • Life’s Other Secret • If You’re Missing the Tool, Create It • An Ever-Changing System
 
2 Just Add World
How to Grow a Good Brain • Experience Necessary • Nature’s Great Gamble
 
3 The Inside Mirrors the Outside
The Case of the Silver Spring Monkeys • The Afterlife of Lord Horatio Nelson’s Right Arm • Timing Is Everything • Colonization Is a Full-Time Business • The More the Better • Blindingly Fast • What Does Dreaming Have to Do with the Rotation of the Planet? • As Outside, So Inside
 
4 Wrapping Around the Inputs
The Planet-Winning Technology of the Potato Head • Sensory Substitution • The One-Trick Pony • Eye Tunes • Good Vibrations • Enhancing the Peripherals • Conjuring a New Sensorium • Imagining a New Color • Are You Ready for a New Sensation?
 
5 How to Get a Better Body
Will the Real Doc Ock Please Raise His Hands? • No Standard Blueprints • Motor Babbling • The Motor Cortex, Marshmallows, and the Moon • Self-Control • Toys Are Us • One Brain, Infinite Body Plans
 
6 Why Mattering Matters
The Motor Cortices of Perlman Versus Ashkenazy • Fashioning the Landscape • Dogged • Allowing the Real Estate to Change • The Brain of a Digital Native
 
7 Why Love Knows Not Its Own Depth Until the Hour of Separation
A Horse in the River • Making Invisible the Expected • The Difference Between What You Thought Would Happen and What Actually Happened • Going Toward the Light. Or Sugar. Or Data. • Adjusting to Expect the Unexpected
 
8 Balancing on the Edge of Change
When Haiti Disappears • How to Spread Drug Dealers Evenly • How Neurons Expand Their Social Network • The Benefits of a Good Death • Is Cancer an Expression of Plasticity Gone Awry? • Saving the Brain Forest
 
9 Why Is It Harder to Teach Old Dogs New Tricks?
Born as Many • The Sensitive Period • Doors Close at Different Rates • Still Changing After All These Years
 
10 Remember When
Talking to Your Future Self • The Enemy of Memory Is Not Time; It’s Other Memories • Parts of the Brain Teach Other Parts • Beyond Synapses • Daisy-Chaining a Range of Timescales • Many Kinds of Memory • Modified by History
 
11 The Wolf and the Mars Rover
 
12 Finding Otzi’s Long-Lost Love
We Have Met the Shape-Shifters, and They Are Us
 
Acknowledgments
Notes
Further Reading
Index

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