100 books like How the Brain Lost Its Mind

By Allan H. Ropper, Brian Burrell,

Here are 100 books that How the Brain Lost Its Mind fans have personally recommended if you like How the Brain Lost Its Mind. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Angela Potochnik Author Of Idealization and the Aims of Science

From my list on exploring strange features of science.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a philosopher before I knew what philosophers were: asking questions to challenge the starting points for conversations. My biggest pet peeve has always been people who were sure they entirely understood something. While scientists conduct science to help learn about the world, philosophers of science like me study science to try to figure out how it works, why (and when) it’s successful, and how it relates to human concerns and society. Humans ultimately invent science, and I think it’s fascinating to consider how its features relate to our interests and foibles and how it’s so successful at producing knowledge and practical abilities. 

Angela's book list on exploring strange features of science

Angela Potochnik Why did Angela love this book?

In 1962, Thomas Kuhn upended the idea of scientific progress by suggesting that scientific theories change basically like fads. I find this book riveting, with a mix of colorful descriptions of science’s history and bold claims.

The book has been so influential that “paradigm shift”—its central idea that basic features of how we see the world change when scientific theories change—has been adopted to refer to any time our ideas change radically. 

By Thomas S. Kuhn,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Structure of Scientific Revolutions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were-and still are. "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. And fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", Kuhn challenged long-standing…


Book cover of American Dementia: Brain Health in an Unhealthy Society

Alberto Espay Author Of Brain Fables: The Hidden History of Neurodegenerative Diseases and a Blueprint to Conquer Them

From my list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati, interested in the many ways in which we acquire impairments in movements, in cognition, or in both. I have sought to measure these behaviors, quantify their responses to different pharmacological treatments, and determine how they inform the biology of the aging brain. In publications along the way, I have increasingly questioned how we classify neurological diseases and treat those affected.

Alberto's book list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration

Alberto Espay Why did Alberto love this book?

This book explains the tight connection between Alzheimer’s disease and education, health, income, and environment, and why the rate of Alzheimer’s disease in the population actually decreased in the decades following the most important societal changes enacted after World War II. Social safety, environmental protections, and income inequality have had far greater impact than any of the pharmacological approaches ever attempted. The authors make the compelling case that brain health is intimately connected to societal health.

By Daniel R. George, Peter J. Whitehouse,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Dementia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Have the social safety nets, environmental protections, and policies to redress wealth and income inequality enacted after World War II contributed to declining rates of dementia today-and how do we improve brain health in the future?

For decades, researchers have chased a pharmaceutical cure for memory loss. But despite the fact that no disease-modifying biotech treatments have emerged, new research suggests that dementia rates have actually declined in the United States and Western Europe over the last decade. Why is this happening? And what does it mean for brain health in the future?

In American Dementia, Daniel R. George, PhD,…


Book cover of Madness and Memory: The Discovery of Prions--A New Biological Principle of Disease

Alberto Espay Author Of Brain Fables: The Hidden History of Neurodegenerative Diseases and a Blueprint to Conquer Them

From my list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati, interested in the many ways in which we acquire impairments in movements, in cognition, or in both. I have sought to measure these behaviors, quantify their responses to different pharmacological treatments, and determine how they inform the biology of the aging brain. In publications along the way, I have increasingly questioned how we classify neurological diseases and treat those affected.

Alberto's book list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration

Alberto Espay Why did Alberto love this book?

Stan Prusiner received the Nobel Prize of Medicine in 1997 for identifying what at the time was considered a novel mechanism of neurodegeneration: the prions. These “infectious proteins” were responsible for ravaging the brains of animals suffering from scrapie and mad cow disease, and of humans with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Although I have come to doubt that prions are a cause of rapidly progressive dementia and may instead represent a consequence, Prusiner’s memoir is filled with moments of skepticism, self-doubt, adversity, and intellectual rivalries –the ingredients for a gripping drama in neurosciences. 

By Stanley B. Prusiner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Madness and Memory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A first-person account of a revolutionary scientific discovery that is now helping to unravel the mysteries of brain diseases

In 1997, Stanley B. Prusiner received a Nobel Prize, the world's most prestigious award for achievement in physiology or medicine. That he was the sole recipient of the award for the year was entirely appropriate. His struggle to identify the agent responsible for ravaging the brains of animals suffering from scrapie and mad cow disease, and of humans with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, had been waged largely alone and in some cases in the face of strenuous disagreement.

In this book, Prusiner tells…


Book cover of This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress

Alberto Espay Author Of Brain Fables: The Hidden History of Neurodegenerative Diseases and a Blueprint to Conquer Them

From my list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati, interested in the many ways in which we acquire impairments in movements, in cognition, or in both. I have sought to measure these behaviors, quantify their responses to different pharmacological treatments, and determine how they inform the biology of the aging brain. In publications along the way, I have increasingly questioned how we classify neurological diseases and treat those affected.

Alberto's book list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration

Alberto Espay Why did Alberto love this book?

This collection of essays blew my mind. Researchers in a range of disciplines were asked to elaborate on why a given idea in their field should be put to rest. There is a chapter dedicated to big data, nature versus nurture, cause and effect, race, Linnaean classification, etc. The book’s essays inspired me to shape a section on “Reductionism and related ideas that will die” as part of a solicited article I wrote with Tony Lang in 2018 aiming to predict the future of Parkinson’s disease research in the 2020s (Ben Stecher credited it as his reason to relocate to Cincinnati to work with us in our CCBP study). This book is also a reminder that progress requires new ideas, and most cannot emerge without first abandoning outdated ones (as Kuhn articulated).  

An idea that must die in neurology is the clinico-pathologic model of classifying neurodegenerative diseases: abnormalities on brain…

By John Brockman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Idea Must Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling editor of This Explains Everything brings together 175 of the world's most brilliant minds to tackle Edge.org's 2014 question: What scientific idea has become a relic blocking human progress? Each year, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org-"The world's smartest website" (The Guardian)-challenges some of the world's greatest scientists, artists, and philosophers to answer a provocative question crucial to our time. In 2014 he asked 175 brilliant minds to ponder: What scientific idea needs to be put aside in order to make room for new ideas to advance? The answers are as surprising as they are illuminating.
In : *…


Book cover of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus, Anger, and Memory Problems

Kevin Hines Author Of The Art of Being Broken: How Storytelling Saves Lives

From my list on finding hope when battling with your mental health.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am immersed in the topic of brain and mental health every single day. I love devouring books on the topic because it helps me personally with my diagnosed bipolar depression. I know what it’s like to attempt suicide and to live with chronic thoughts that can be overwhelming. So, reading books like these helps me better balance my brain health, and they help me offer hope to others to whom I can recommend these kinds of books. As host of the Hinesights Podcast, where I interview folks in the field of mental health from all walks of life, being able to put a list like this together is a gift. 

Kevin's book list on finding hope when battling with your mental health

Kevin Hines Why did Kevin love this book?

I truly loved this book because Dr. Daniel Amen is the best in his class. He is a dedicated brain scientist, author, and life changer. I’ve read all of his books because they teach us all how to benefit our brains to change our lives forever.

This book has helped me personally, and so has his research. He's a personal friend and one hell of a game-changer when it comes to recognizing the importance of altering the conversation from mental health to brain health.

He is an important figure of this or any time; the world is lucky he's here to make us all better, one brain at a time. 

By Daniel G. Amen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Change Your Brain, Change Your Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this completely revised and updated edition, neuropsychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen includes effective "brain prescriptions" that can help heal your brain and change your life.

“Perfection in combining leading-edge brain science technology with a proven, user-friendly, definitive, and actionable road map to safeguard and enhance brain health and functionality.”—David Perlmutter, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of Grain Brain
 
In Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, renowned neuropsychiatrist Daniel Amen, M.D., includes new, cutting-edge research gleaned from more than 100,000 SPECT brain scans over the last quarter century and scientific evidence that your anxiety, depression,…


Book cover of Great and Desperate Cures: The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness

John E. Dowling Author Of Understanding the Brain: From Cells to Behavior to Cognition

From my list on healthy and compromised brains.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began research as an undergraduate at Harvard College, initially studying the effects of vitamin A deficiency on the photoreceptors in the eye that capture the light and initiate vision. After receiving my PhD and starting my own laboratory, I became fascinated with the other four classes of cells/neurons found in the retina, which begin the analysis of visual information: two being in the outer retina and two in the inner retina. We mapped out the synaptic interactions among the neurons, recorded from them, and began to put together the neural circuitries that underlie the visual messages that are sent to other parts of the brain. 

John's book list on healthy and compromised brains

John E. Dowling Why did John love this book?

This fascinating book is essentially the story of prefrontal lobotomies and the surgery that was developed to carry out the procedure. Although it did help certain violent patients, it had serious side effects not recognized initially and was used inappropriately on too many patients (including President Kennedy’s sister).

The book recounts the history of why the procedure was developed and many of the scientists and surgeons involved. It provides a perfect case study of the caution needed when a new, thought to be miraculous, treatment for any disease is first tried.

By Elliot S Valenstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Great and Desperate Cures as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Description


Book cover of Innate: How the Wiring of Our Brains Shapes Who We Are

Mark Humphries Author Of The Spike: An Epic Journey Through the Brain in 2.1 Seconds

From my list on how brains actually work.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a British neuroscientist and writer who’s been using computers to study the brain since 1998, and writing about it since 2016. How I ended up a neuroscientist is hard to explain, for my formative years were spent devouring science books that were not about the brain. That’s partly because finding worthwhile books about the brain is so hard – few delve into how the brain actually works, into the kinds of meaty details that, for example, Hawking offered us on physics and Dawkins on evolution. So I wrote one to solve that problem; and the books on my list are just that too: deep, insightful works on how the brain does what it does.

Mark's book list on how brains actually work

Mark Humphries Why did Mark love this book?

We neuroscientists know a lot about how brains are, but not how they come to be. This book fills that huge hole: it explains how genetics and development shape the growing brain, and the consequences this has for our personalities and our mental disorders. Mitchell’s thesis is that the stochastic nature of development is key to understanding much of the variation between brains, and it has changed the way I think about the wiring of brains.

By Kevin J. Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Innate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A leading neuroscientist explains why your personal traits are more innate than you think

What makes you the way you are-and what makes each of us different from everyone else? In Innate, leading neuroscientist and popular science blogger Kevin Mitchell traces human diversity and individual differences to their deepest level: in the wiring of our brains. Deftly guiding us through important new research, including his own groundbreaking work, he explains how variations in the way our brains develop before birth strongly influence our psychology and behavior throughout our lives, shaping our personality, intelligence, sexuality, and even the way we perceive…


Book cover of The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery

Marc Dingman Author Of Bizarre: The Most Peculiar Cases of Human Behavior and What They Tell Us about How the Brain Works

From my list on learning about your brain.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with the brain began when I was an undergraduate, and since has grown into an insatiable curiosity about all things neuroscience. Today my main job is teaching courses in the health sciences at The Pennsylvania State University, but I spend much of my free time trying to find ways to make neuroscience understandable to those who share my enthusiasm for learning about it. I mostly do this through my books and a series of short neuroscience videos on my YouTube channel: Neuroscientifically Challenged.

Marc's book list on learning about your brain

Marc Dingman Why did Marc love this book?

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons is a fun, engaging, and well-written introduction to your brain and some of the most interesting characters in the history of neuroscience.

Sam Kean is an excellent science writer—the type who draws you in so much with his storytelling that you forget you’re actually learning something. By the end of this book, you’ll know more about how the brain works, but perhaps better yet you’ll have enjoyed an array of colorful historical tales that explain how our knowledge of the brain has advanced over the years.

By Sam Kean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For centuries, scientists had only one way to study the brain: wait for misfortune to strike - strokes, seizures, infections, lobotomies, horrendous accidents, phantom limbs, Siamese twins - and see how the victims changed afterwards. In many cases their survival was miraculous, and observers marvelled at the transformations that took place when different parts of the brain were destroyed. Parents suddenly couldn't recognise their children. Pillars of the community became pathological liars and paedophiles. Some people couldn't speak but could still sing. Others couldn't read but could write.
The stories of these people laid the foundations of modern neuroscience and,…


Book cover of Neuroscience: Exploring The Brain

Jo Owen Author Of The Mindset of Success: Accelerate Your Career from Good Manager to Great Leader

From my list on helping to think, live, and lead better.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an accidental guru on leadership, as a result of starting Teach First which is now the UK’s largest graduate recruiter. I discovered that the best leaders are not always the most skilled. That set me on a 20 year quest to discover their secret X-Factor: their mindset. I have conducted thousands of original interviews plus studying neuroscience with Harvard and Positive Psychology with the University of Pennsylvania. I also practice what I preach: I have set up 7 NGOs with turnover of £100m, started a bank, and built a business in Japan. It has been a life-enhancing journey of discovery: I hope you enjoy it too.

Jo's book list on helping to think, live, and lead better

Jo Owen Why did Jo love this book?

Let’s face it, this book is heavy. It is a university textbook, so it requires hard work. But it is worth it.

This is a magical mystery tour into the bizarre wonders of our own brains: why spend a fortune exploring the world when you can explore your own brain sitting in a chair, for free?

By the end of it, I was left ruminating over how we really see and think and over reality itself. The book is your entry ticket to a world of wonder: your own brain.

The book is a massive antidote to all the pop psychology books out there, and will enable you to be a far more critical and insightful reader of such books.

By Mark Bear, Barry Connors, Michael A. Paradiso

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Neuroscience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed for its clear, friendly style, excellent illustrations, leading author team, and compelling theme of exploration, Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, 4e takes a fresh, contemporary approach to the study of neuroscience, emphasizing the biological basis of behavior. The authors' passion for the dynamic field of neuroscience is evident on every page, engaging students and helping them master the material.

In just a few years, the field of neuroscience has been transformed by exciting new technologies and an explosion of knowledge about the brain. The human genome has been sequenced, sophisticated new methods have been developed for genetic engineering, and new…


Book cover of The Brain: The Story of You

Marc Dingman Author Of Bizarre: The Most Peculiar Cases of Human Behavior and What They Tell Us about How the Brain Works

From my list on learning about your brain.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with the brain began when I was an undergraduate, and since has grown into an insatiable curiosity about all things neuroscience. Today my main job is teaching courses in the health sciences at The Pennsylvania State University, but I spend much of my free time trying to find ways to make neuroscience understandable to those who share my enthusiasm for learning about it. I mostly do this through my books and a series of short neuroscience videos on my YouTube channel: Neuroscientifically Challenged.

Marc's book list on learning about your brain

Marc Dingman Why did Marc love this book?

If you’re looking for an easy-to-understand and entertaining introduction to the basics of how your brain works, The Brain is a great choice.

The author, David Eagleman, is an accomplished neuroscientist who has both a deep understanding of brain function and a talent for explaining those functions in a clear and engaging style.

The book also explores how neuroscience might influence some profound philosophical questions about free will, consciousness, and more—so you’ll get a dose of deep thinking along with some fundamental neuroscience knowledge.

By David Eagleman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Brain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'This is the story of how your life shapes your brain, and how your brain shapes your life.'

Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman on a whistle-stop tour of the inner cosmos. It's a journey that will take you into the world of extreme sports, criminal justice, genocide, brain surgery, robotics and the search for immortality. On the way, amidst the infinitely dense tangle of brain cells and their trillions of connections, something emerges that you might not have expected to see: you.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the brain, mental disorders, and neuroscience?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the brain, mental disorders, and neuroscience.

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