In this compelling book, neurologist Adam Zeman tells the stories of patients with a variety of neurological disorders, some familiar (epilepsy, chronic fatigue, stroke, memory loss) and others relatively mysterious (narcolepsy, chronic deja vu, compulsive fidgeting, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). Chapter by chapter, the author reveals the various levels of the brain, from the atom to the mind, and explores what happens when workings at each level go awry. Zeman requires of his readers no special knowledge of medicine or science, yet he takes us to the very frontiers of current scientific knowledge and elucidates the workings of the brain in astonishing detail.
The book weaves together fascinating case histories, clear accounts of concepts and discoveries in neuroscience, and an intimate view of the suspense, excitement, fun, and angst that color a neurologist's days. Zeman also considers what the brain's behavior and misbehavior can tell us about the human self as physical system, living creature, and conscious mind. In a final chapter he reflects on the place of the mind in nature. On every page Zeman both entertains and informs, and readers will find themselves pondering the enigmas of brain and mind long after closing the covers of this thought-provoking volume.
Adam Zeman is professor of cognitive and behavioral neurology, Peninsula Medical School, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. He is the author of Consciousness: A User's Guide, published by Yale University Press. He lives in Exeter, UK.