What is the principle purpose of a brain? A simple question, but the answer has taken millennia for us to begin to understand. So critical for our everyday existence, the brain still remains somewhat a mystery. Gary L. Wenk takes us on a tour of what we do know about this enigmatic organ, showing us how the workings of the human brain produce our thoughts, feelings, and fears, and answering questions such as: How did humans evolve such a big brain? What is an emotion and why do we have them? What is a memory and why do we forget so easily? How does your diet affect how you think and feel? What happens when your brain gets old? Throughout human history, ignorance about the brain has caused numerous non-scientific, sometimes harmful, interventions to be devised based on interpretations of scientific facts that were misguided. Wenk discusses why these neuroscientific myths are so popular, and why some of the interventions based on them are a waste of time and money. With illuminating insights, gentle humor, and welcome simplicity, The Brain: What Everyone Needs to Know makes the complex biology of our brains accessible to the general reader.
Gary L. Wenk is a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University. He is an internationally recognized research investigator of age-related brain disorders, an award-winning educator, and author of more than 220 research articles and chapters, as well as Your Brain On Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feeling (OUP 2014). He served on the faculty of The Johns Hopkins University and was the Director of the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory & Biological Basis of Behavior Program at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. Wenk was elected a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his distinguished contributions in the field of neuropharmacology, neurodegenerative diseases, and neuroinflammatory processes. He has been interviewed about his work by Dr. Oz, NPR, WBZ, WJR, CBS, ABC, and CNN.