The Modular Brain: How New Discoveries in Neuroscience Are Answering Age-Old Questions About...

Richard M. Restak, Author Rodale Press $22 (199p) ISBN 978-0-684-19544-5
Restak, a neurologist and author of The Brain and The Mind , examines recent discoveries in neuroscience that radically alter traditional views of how the brain operates and, at the same time, cast light on free will and identity and other matters central to the human condition. Since the early 1800s, science has understood that different locations in the brain are responsible for different functions, with later research suggesting a hierarchical organization in which the cerebral hemispheres control the deeper, more primitive areas that are not so recently evolved. But a new, more dynamic model of the brain posits a parallel rather than a hierarchical structure, in which many processes, including perception and comprehension, occur simultaneously. Citing research and case studies, Restak describes the modular theory as it relates to such acts as vision and speech, also describing its impact on such issues as consciousness, memory and morality. More interesting for the questions raised than answers offered, this is an accessible, provocative look at the relationship between science and philosophy. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
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