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Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century

Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The New York Academy of Sciences

The human brain is the most elusive, mysterious, and maddeningly complex organ in the body. Prod by prod, glimpse by glimpse, scientists form theories about brain structure and function. Now, for the first time, the elegant methods applied to study the mind are revealed in a visual history of brain research.

Carl Schoonover's new book, Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century, with a forward by Jonah Lehrer, is a stunning visual history of the brain, from drawings by the earliest scientists to images produced by the advanced techniques used today. These beautiful black-and-white and vibrantly colored images, many resembling abstract art, are employed daily by scientists around the world, but most have never before been seen by the general public.

Each chapter in Portraits of the Mind addresses a different set of techniques for studying the brain, and each is introduced with an essay by a leading scientist in that field of study. Schoonover's captions provide detailed explanations of each image as well as the major insights gained by scientists over the course of the past 20 years. The result is a peek at the mind's innermost workings, helping readers to understand, and offering clues about what may lie ahead.

Reception to Follow

Series Media Sponsor

This event is part of the From Stone Age to Internet Age: How Science Has Evolved over Time Series, which also includes the following events:

Science as a Modern Creation Story: An Evening with David Christian
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 | 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
From Stone Tools to the Internet: How Humans Adapt to Technology
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
You Are What You Eat: The Long History of Knowing about Our Food, Our Bodies, and Ourselves
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Historic Tales of the Periodic Table: An Evening with Sam Kean
Thursday, February 17, 2011 | 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Register for the whole series now.


Carl Schoonover

Carl Schoonover is a neuroscience PhD candidate and National Science Foundation graduate fellow at Columbia University, and the author of Portraits of the Mind. He has written for Le Figaro, Commentaire, and LiveScience, and cofounded NeuWrite, a collaborative working group for scientists, writers, and those in between. He hosts a radio show on WKCR 89.9FM, which focuses on opera, classical music, and their relationship to the brain.

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