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Steven Rose

The 21st century brain

Neuroscience is making significant advances in understanding the workings of the brain, and these are likely to bring new treatments for mental illnesses. There is also the possibility of mental enhancement, and even of some form of mental control. In The 21st century brain:Explaining, Mending and Manipulating the Mind, Steven Rose explains the background to such possibilities, and looks at where they may lead.

The book starts with a look at the evolution of the human mind, seeing how our brains relate to those of other animals. Rose goes on to consider the development of our brains during our lifetime, starting from a few cells in an embryo, through childhood to maturity and in to old age. The later chapters of the book looks at the possibilities which our knowledge of the brain might bring, although Rose's view is that much of it is hype. I felt, however, that some of his arguments were weak. That drug companies will use any means to maximise profits he sees as being obvious - and so not needing any supporting argument. Such a style of writing may be OK when pointing out the possible dangers posed by advences in neuroscience, but I thought he also missed the point when criticising Chomsky's ideas of a 'grammar module' in the brain. But if you can put up with such a style of argument then you'll find plenty of interest in this book. The book gives a useful overview of neuroscience and provides a vital glimpse of where it is likely to lead - information that we will all need to make informed decisions in the coming decades.

Note The US version of this book has the title The Future of the Brain: The Promise and Perils of Tomorrow's Neuroscience (even though Amazon are trying to persade you to buy both) info
Paperback 352 pages  
ISBN: 019530893X
Salesrank: 211054
Published: 2006 Oxford University Press
Amazon price $4.50
Marketplace:New from $4.50:Used from $1.99
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Paperback 368 pages  
ISBN: 0099429772
Salesrank: 942315
Weight:0.62 lbs
Published: 2006 Vintage
Amazon price £10.99
Marketplace:New from £9.00:Used from £0.01
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Paperback 352 pages  
ISBN: 019530893X
Salesrank: 958373
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2006 Oxford University Press
Amazon price CDN$ 12.46
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 12.46:Used from CDN$ 1.04
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Product Description
Brain repair, smart pills, mind-reading machines--modern neuroscience promises to soon deliver a remarkable array of wonders as well as profound insight into the nature of the brain. But these exciting new breakthroughs, warns Steven Rose, will also raise troubling questions about what it means to be human.
In The Future of the Brain, Rose explores just how far neuroscience may help us understand the human brain--including consciousness--and to what extent cutting edge technologies should have the power to mend or manipulate the mind. Rose first offers a panoramic look at what we now know about the brain, from its three-billion-year evolution, to its astonishingly rapid development in the embryo, to the miraculous process of infant development. More important, he shows what all this science can--and cannot--tell us about the human condition. He examines questions that still baffle scientists and he explores the potential threats and promises of new technologies and their ethical, legal, and social implications, wondering how far we should go in eliminating unwanted behavior or enhancing desired characteristics, focusing on the new "brain steroids" and on the use of Ritalin to control young children.
The Future of the Brain is a remarkable look at what the brain sciences are telling us about who we are and where we came from--and where we may be headed in years to come.