cover image Two Heads: A Graphic Exploration of How Our Brains Work with Other Brains

Two Heads: A Graphic Exploration of How Our Brains Work with Other Brains

Alex Frith et al. Scribner, $30 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5011-9407-8

Neuroscientists Uta and Chris Frith team up with their children’s book author son Alex (100 Things to Know About Space) and artist Daniel Locke (Out of Nothing) to construct this comprehensive graphic guide to the workings of the brain, covering topics spanning autism to the psychology of game theory. Uta and Chris chaperone the reader through opaque mysteries of academia, explicating a range of experiments and case studies on different aspects of how the mind operates. In particular, they focus on the ways people’s minds interact with one another and the world around them. For example, the truism that “we copy those we like because we want to be liked” is bolstered by evidence that copying is efficient learning not only for human and animal brains, but also machine learning. It’s chock-full of science facts and delves into issues such as bias in academic research and mental disorders. Personal anecdotes wind a path through dense topics made accessible for general readers. The art style, however, skews picture book and sometimes feels flat. Though the presentation leaves something to be desired, the work overall has the feel of being invited to dinner with a friend’s eccentric genius parents: there are some awkward moments, but readers will learn much by the last course. Agent: Patrick Walsh, PEW Literary. (Mar.)