Brain Awareness 2015 authors

Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist – $17 (hardcover)
Christof Koch, Ph.D., 2012 (2015 Brain Awareness Speaker)
What links conscious experience of pain, joy, color, and smell to bioelectrical activity in the brain? How can anything physical give rise to nonphysical, subjective, conscious states? Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience. This engaging book—part scientific overview, part memoir, part futurist speculation—describes Koch's search for an empirical explanation for consciousness. Koch recounts not only the birth of the modern science of consciousness but also the subterranean motivation for his quest—his instinctual (if "romantic") belief that life is meaningful.

Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind – $10
Nicolas Bazan, M.D., Ph.D., 2012 (2015 Brain Awareness Speaker)
Neuroscientist Alvaro Cruz finds himself haunted by a recurring dream of a banjo player in an elusive cornfield that leads him on a personal quest to uncover the mysterious past of a New Orleans street singer known as Una Vida. Stricken with Alzheimer's, Una Vida can only offer tantalizing clues about her past through her mesmerizing vocals, incredible recollection of jazz lyrics, and the occasional verbal revisiting of a fascinating life that's fading quickly and forever into the recess of her mind. As Cruz searches for Una Vida's true identity, he learns profound lessons about the human psyche, the nature of memory and himself.

Touching a Nerve: Our Brains, Our Selves – $15
Patricia Churchland, B.Phil., 2013 (2015 Brain Awareness Speaker)
What happens when we accept that everything we feel and think stems not from an immaterial spirit but from electrical and chemical activity in our brains? In this thought–provoking narrative―drawn from professional expertise as well as personal life experiences―trailblazing neurophilosopher Patricia S. Churchland grounds the philosophy of mind in the essential ingredients of biology. She reflects with humor on how she came to harmonize science and philosophy, the mind and the brain, abstract ideals and daily life.

The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us about the Mind – $10
Alison Gopnik, Ph.D., Andrew N. Meltzoff, Ph.D., Patricia K. Kuhl, Ph.D., 2000
This exciting book by three pioneers in the new field of cognitive science discusses important discoveries about how much babies and young children know and learn, and how much parents naturally teach them. It argues that evolution designed us both to teach and learn, and that the drive to learn is our most important instinct. It also reveals as fascinating insights about our adult capacities and how even young children—as well as adults—use some of the same methods that allow scientists to learn so much about the world. Filled with surprise at every turn, this vivid, lucid, and often funny book gives us a new view of the inner life of children and the mysteries of the mind.

Other available titles

The Bard on the Brain: Understanding the Mind Through the Art of Shakespeare and the Science of Brain Imaging – $15 (hardcover)
Paul M. Matthews and Jeffrey McQuian, 2003
More than 400 years after they were first written, Shakespeare's plays still offer a stunning glimpse into the motivations, desires, and deviancies of man. His characters are caught in situations modern readers can sympathize with, and his themes—love, family relations, adultery, power, treachery—are as relevant now as they were then. Surprisingly, another aspect of the Bard's work that has withstood the test of time is his understanding of the brain. The Bard on the Brain is a marvelous combination of close readings of Shakespeare and the most current neurological research that together demonstrate how impulses and actions originate in the brain.

Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness – $10
The President's Council on Bioethics, 2003
This clear, concise, and groundbreaking report examines the reach, and potential, of biotechnology in every aspect of our daily life. Healthy children, superior physical performance, age longevity, overall happiness—our desires and the emerging means to fulfill them raise a host of ethical challenges. Accompanied by a foreword by Leon R. Kass, an introduction by renowned columnist William Safire, and additional comments from member scientists on the President's Council on Bioethics, this report considers those possibilities in all their breadth and complexity.

The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius – $15 (hardcover)
Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D., 2005
The author explains here the brain produces creative breakthroughs in art, literature, and science, revealing that creativity is not the same thing as intelligence. She scrutinizes the complex factors involved in the development of creativity, including the role of patrons and mentors, "non–standard" educations, and the possession of an "omnivorous" vision. A fascinating interview with acclaimed playwright Neil Simon sheds further light on the creative process.The relationship between genius and insanity also plays an important role in Andreasen's examination. Drawing on her studies of writers in the Iowa Writers' Workshop and other scientific evidence, Andreasen asserts that while creativity may sometimes be linked to mental disorders and may be partially due to familial/genetic factors, neither is inevitable nor needed for creativity to flourish.

The Dana Sourcebook of Brain Science – $5
The Dana Foundation, 2003
This sourcebook from The Dana Foundation, designed for both teachers and students, reveals the wonders and workings of the human brain through articles on brain research. This resource also offers suggested activities and ideas for further reading materials.

Deep Brain Stimulation: A New Treatment Shows Promise in the Most Difficult Cases – $10
Jamie Talan, 2009
There are disorders that defy treatment with prescribed pharmaceuticals: a man's hands shake so hard that he cannot hold anything; a woman is mired in severe inescapable depression. For these patients and others, an alternative is emerging: deep brain stimulation. In this fascinating and timely investigation, well–known science writer Jamie Talan explains a cutting–edge medical development that is surprising and impressing researchers around the world.

The Emotional Brain – $12
Joseph LeDoux, Ph.D., 1998
This compelling firsthand look at the research Daniel Goleman relied on for his bestselling book "Emotional Intelligence" describes in vivid, accessible detail where our emotions come from, what purpose they serve, and how the brain systems underlying them evolved. 44 photos & illustrations.

The Ethical Brain – $10
Michael S. Gazzaniga, Ph.D., 2005
When should we call an embryo or a fetus "one of us"?  What is normal brain aging, and should we simply aspire to live longer, no matter what our brain state might be?  In clear, plain language, Michael Gazzaniga explains neuroscience's loaded findings and the ethical issues they pose for individuals and society.  He offers his own insights and candid perspective with the warmth, humor, and intelligence that have made him one of the most respected participants in these debates.

How We Decide – $12
Jonah Lehrer, 2009 (2012 Brain Awareness Speaker)
Since Plato, philosophers have described the decision–making process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate, or we blink and go with our gut. But as scientists break open the mind's black box with the latest tools of neuroscience, they're discovering that this is not how the mind works. Our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason and the precise mix depends on the situation.

Lehrer shows how people are taking advantage of the new science to make better television shows, win more football games, and improve military intelligence. His goal is to answer two questions that are of interest to just about anyone, from CEOs to firefighters: How does the human mind make decisions? And how can we make those decisions better?

In Search of Memory – $15
Eric Kandel, M.D.
A deft mixture of memoir and history, modern biology and behavior, In Search of Memory traces how a brilliant scientist's intellectual journey intersected with one of the great scientific endeavors of the twentieth century: the search for the biological basis of memory.

The Little Book of Neuroscience Haikus – $10
Eric Chudler, Ph.D., 2013
Neuroscientist Eric H. Chudler has created a whimsical yet educational book of haiku about the brain, each poem conforming to the strict definition of the Japanese verse form: three lines containing five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables. Organized in three parts, one part discusses places (areas of the brain); one takes up things (such as brain scans); and one is about people (such as the researchers who have helped us learn about this elusive organ). Extensive notes complete the book, educating readers in an amusing, poetic, and at times moving fashion.

The Memory Bible – $12
Gary Small, M.D., 2003 (2012 Brain Awareness Speaker)
Forgetfulness is something we all experience. We forget our keys, our wallet, names – and it only gets worse as we get older. According to Dr. Small, director of the UCLA Center on Aging, we can easily eliminate much of this forgetfulness with his innovative memory exercises and brain fitness program – now available for the first time in a book. Resources provided in the appendix.

A Natural History of the Senses – $5
Diane Ackerman, MFA, Ph.D., 1991
In the course of this grand tour of the realm of the senses, Diane Ackerman writes about the evolution of the kiss, the sadistic cuisine of the eighteenth–century England, the chemistry of pain and the melodies of the planet Earth with an evocativeness and charm that make the book itself a marvel of literate sensuality.

Neuroethics: Mapping the Field – $7
Stephen J. Marcus (Editor), 2004
This volume contains the proceedings of a two–day multidisciplinary conference on the ethical implications of brain research organized by Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco. Leaders in neuroscience, journalism, law, and philosophy, among other fields, engaged in a freewheeling debate on the social and individual effects of the research. Steven Marcus has edited their formal and informal deliberations to present a compelling first–hand account of the proceedings, providing a highly readable front–row seat about the first–ever symposium on neuroethics.

Nothing Was the Same: A Memoir – $10
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., 2009 (2010 Brain Awareness Speaker)
In direct, straightforward, and at times strikingly lyrical prose, Jamison looks back at her relationship with her husband, Richard Wyatt, a renowned scientist who battled debilitating dyslexia to become one of the foremost experts on schizophrenia. And with her characteristic honesty, candor, wit, and simplicity, she describes his death, her own long, difficult struggle with grief, and her efforts to distinguish grief from depression. But she also recalls the great joy that Richard brought her during the nearly twenty years they had together. Wryly humorous anecdotes mingle with bittersweet memories of a relationship that was passionate and loving—if troubled on occasion by her manic–depressive (bipolar) illness—as Jamison reveals the ways in which her husband encouraged her to write openly about her mental illness and, through his courage and grace taught her to live fully.

Proust Was a Neuroscientist – $10
Jonah Lehrer, 2008 (2012 Brain Awareness Speaker)
In this technology–driven age, it's tempting to believe that science can solve every mystery. After all, science has cured countless diseases and even sent humans into space. But as Jonah Lehrer argues in this sparkling debut, science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first.

Remembering Garrett: One Family's Battle with a Child's Depression – $10 (hardcover)
Gordon H. Smith, 2006
United States Senator Gordon H. Smith tells the heartbreaking but inspiring story of his son's embattled life, his death by suicide at age twenty–two, and how the Smiths finally carried on — fighting the growing problem of youth suicide with the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act.

Touched With Fire: Manic–Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament – $12
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., 1996 (2010 Brain Awareness Speaker)
The anguished and volatile intensity associated with the artistic temperament was once thought to be a symptom of genius or eccentricity peculiar to artists, writers, and musicians. The author's work, based on her study as a clinical psychologist and researcher in mood disorders, reveals that many artists subject to exalted highs and despairing lows were in fact engaged in a struggle with clinically identifiable manic–depressive illness.
Jamison presents proof of the biological foundations of this disease and applies what is known about the illness to the lives and works of some of the world's greatest artists including Lord Byron, Vincent Van Gogh, and Virginia Woolf.

This Is Your Brain on Music – $10
Daniel J. Levitin, Ph.D., 2007
The author unravels the mystery of our perennial love affair with music. Through this book, the author provides a comprehensive scientific understanding of how humans experience music and why it plays such a unique role in our lives.

You've Got Some Explaining To Do: Advice for Neuroscientists Writing for Lay Readers – $5
Jane Nevins, 2014
What are people who read opinion–page articles looking for? How can you reach people who read general–interest magazines? Hint: It's not the same as your colleagues or science journals.  This compact book offers the reasons and information that can help scientific writers adopt new habits to be successful and happy writing for a non–science audience. Go ahead and write journal–style for science journals and colleagues, says longtime science editor Jane Nevins, but you'll need to try different styles to reach a different audience.

Sold out titles

New American Diet Cookbook – $15
Sonja Connor and William Connor, M.D.
Sonja Connor is a research associate professor at OHSU. William Connor, M.D., is a professor of medicine in clinical nutrition at OHSU. Their professional careers have focused on studying the effects of diet on heart disease.

A Good Start in Life – $11
Book that enables parents to constructively shape their child's cognitive & social development.

An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain – $5
Diane Ackerman, 2004
Ackerman combines and artist's eye with a scientist's erudition to illuminate the magic and mysteries of the human brain. She also reports on the latest discoveries in neuroscience and addresses such controversial subjects as the effects of trauma, nature versus nurture, and male versus female brains.

Liars, Lovers & Heroes: New Discoveries About How We Become Who We Are – $25
Authors combine cutting–edge findings in neuroscience with examples from history and recent headlines to offer new insights into who we are. This book introduces the new science of cultural biology; born of advances in brain imaging, computer modeling, and genetics. Demystify the dynamic engagement between brain and world that makes us something far beyond the sum of our parts.

Neuroscience & the Law – $8
Recently, it has become strikingly apparent how science has transformed our lives in ways that are often unpredictable. The promise of neuroscience is so great that it seems wise to consider how best to advance such research in a manner consistent with broader social values. The DANA Foundation and American Association for the Advancement of Science brings together selected discussions on the Brain, Mind, and the Scales of Justice.

The Dana Guide to Brain Health – $20
Three of the world's leading medical experts in neuroscience, neurology and psychiatry, together with more than one hundred of America's most distinguished scientists and medical professionals, provide an essential, easy–to–understand, and practical reference guide to the brain and how it works.

The End Of Stress As We Know It – $15
Bruce McEwen, Ph.D., Rockefeller University
Dr. McEwen leads us to a new appreciation of the mind–body connection so that we learn how to reduce stress and increase our overall sense of health and well–being.

Exuberance: The Passion for Life
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., 2004
With the same grace and breadth of learning she brought to her studies of the mind's pathologies, Kay Redfield Jamison examines one of its most exalted states: exuberance. This "abounding, ebullient, effervescent emotion" manifests itself everywhere from child's play to scientific breakthrough and is crucially important to learning, risk–taking, social cohesiveness, and survival itself.

Exuberance: The Passion for Life introduces us to such notably irrepressible types as Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, and Richard Feynman, as well as Peter Pan, dancing porcupines, and Charles Schulz's Snoopy. It explores whether exuberance can be inherited, parses its neurochemical grammar, and documents the methods people have used to stimulate it. The resulting book is an irresistible fusion of science and soul.

Keep Your Brain Young
Guy McKhann, M.D., and Marilyn Albert, Ph.D.
Based on state–of–the–art research and supplemented with dramatic case histories from the authors' patient files, "Keep your Brain Young" shows the latest techniques one can use to maintain memory, manage stress and cope with sleep disorders.

Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., 1999
An internationally acknowledged authority on depressive illnesses, Dr. Jamison has also known suicide firsthand: after years of struggling with manic–depression, she tried at age twenty–eight to kill herself. Weaving together a historical and scientific exploration of the subject with personal essays on individual suicides, she brings not only her remarkable compassion and literary skill but also all of her knowledge and research to bear on this devastating problem. This is a book that helps us to understand the suicidal mind, to recognize and come to the aid of those at risk, and to comprehend the profound effects on those left behind. It is critical reading for parents, educators, and anyone wanting to understand this tragic epidemic.

Synaptic Self
Joseph LeDoux, Ph.D., 2002
In 1996 Joseph LeDoux's The Emotional Brain presented a revelatory examination of the biological bases of our emotions and memories. Now, the world–renowned expert on the brain has produced with a groundbreaking work that tells a more profound story: how the little spaces between the neurons–the brain's synapses––are the channels through which we think, act, imagine, feel, and remember. Synapses encode the essence of personality, enabling each of us to function as a distinctive, integrated individual from moment to moment. Exploring the functioning of memory, the synaptic basis of mental illness and drug addiction, and the mechanism of self–awareness, Synaptic Self is a provocative and mind–expanding work that is destined to become a classic.

An Unquiet Mind
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., 1997
The personal memoir of a manic depressive and an authority on the subject describes the onset of the illness during her teenage years and her determined journey through the realm of available treatments.

A Well–Tempered Mind
Peter Perret & Janet Fox
Illustrates the power of music to uplift and transform the lives of children

What Causes ADHD
Joel Nigg, Ph.D., 2006
Synthesizing a wealth of recent neuropsychological research, this groundbreaking book focuses on the multiple pathways by which attention–deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) develops. Joel T. Nigg marshals the best available knowledge on what is actually going on in the symptomatic child's brain and why, tracing the intersecting causal influences of genetic, neural, and environmental factors. In the process, the book confronts such enduring controversies as the validity of ADHD as a clinical construct. Specific suggestions are provided for studies that might further refine the conceptualization of the disorder, with significant potential benefits for treatment and prevention.

The World in Six Songs – $18
Daniel Levitin, 2008
Could music unlock the mystery of who we are and how we think?