As scientists uncover more and more secrets of the brain, that knowledge is making its way into books to be read and enjoyed by all. Below is an assortment of some of the most popular; from personal stories to improving your own life to shedding light on events in history.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, 2011
This book is listed on many best books of 2011 lists. Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The author reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. Reading this book will surely change the way you think about thinking.
Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks, 2012
With his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr. Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture's folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination, present in us all, is a vital part of the human condition.
Brain on Fire: my month of madness by Susannah Cahalan, 2012
The story of twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan and the life-saving discovery of the autoimmune disorder that nearly killed her -- and that could perhaps be the root of "demonic possessions" throughout history.
The Brain that Changes Itself: stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of brain science by Norman Doidge, 2007
An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, the author traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed -- people whose mental limitations or brain damage were seen as unalterable.
The Age of Insight: the quest to understand the unconscious in art, mind, and brain: from Vienna 1900 to the present by Eric R. Kandel, 2012
Age of Insight takes readers to Vienna in 1900, where leaders in science, medicine, and art began a revolution that changed forever how we think about the human mind -- our conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions -- and how mind and brain relate to art. It is a wonderfully written, superbly researched, and beautifully illustrated book that also provides a foundation for future work in neuroscience and the humanities.