The Brain Has a Mind of Its Own: Insights from a Practicing Neurologist

Richard M. Restak, Author Harmony $18 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57483-6
Unlike psychiatrists who tend to underestimate the role of the brain in mental illness, neurologist Restak ( The Brain ) seeks the cause, in part, in brain dysfunction. Drawing on his patients' often dramatic stories, this gifted and disarming writer's vivid scientific imagery helps to demonstrate the mysterious interaction between the physical brain and the ``inner-dimensional'' mind. The gap between the two, he notes, has narrowed, thanks to recent advances in neurobiochemical and genetics research and technology. Among these is the PET scanner, which can record action in the brain before a conscious act of will and help diagnose schizophrenia. One of the wide-ranging essays here concerns the benefits to be derived from such activities as contemplating a bonsai tree, which, along with other ``prescriptions for insight,'' Restak much prefers to the cult of self-absorption attributable, he believes, to psychoanalysis, how-to books and ``communal group grope'' approaches. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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