100 books like The Neuroscience of You

By Chantel Prat,

Here are 100 books that The Neuroscience of You fans have personally recommended if you like The Neuroscience of You. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Idea of the Brain: The Past and Future of Neuroscience

Sally Adee Author Of We Are Electric: Inside the 200-Year Hunt for Our Body's Bioelectric Code, and What the Future Holds

From my list on the history and future of bioelectricity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a science and technology journalist who has reported on neurotech and bioelectricity for over 15 years, for publications including New Scientist, IEEE Spectrum and Quartz. After a formative experience in a DARPA brain-stimulation experiment, I began to dig into the history and science of bioelectricity, trying to understand both the science at the level of membrane biophysics, and the history and psychology of how biology lost custody of electricity. My resulting book is an effort to create a repository of the real, rigorous studies that have advanced our understanding of this fascinating science at an accelerating rate in the past 20 to 40 years - and what the new science means about the future.

Sally's book list on the history and future of bioelectricity

Sally Adee Why did Sally love this book?

One of the most common category errors in neuroscience is the conflation of brains with computers.

Matthew Cobb, who is both a scientist and a historian of science provides a breathtaking and sweeping history of our understanding of the brain - and how it always seems to be epitomised by humanity’s most impressive engineering achievements.

So in the 19th century, the nervous system was described as a telegraph; in the 20th and 21st century, it became a computer.

Cobb shows how these evolving metaphors helped advance neuroscience, but also how overindexing on that computer metaphor is beginning to seriously limit our ability to grasp what the brain really is.

By Matthew Cobb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize

A New Statesman Book of the Year

This is the story of our quest to understand the most mysterious object in the universe: the human brain.

Today we tend to picture it as a computer. Earlier scientists thought about it in their own technological terms: as a telephone switchboard, or a clock, or all manner of fantastic mechanical or hydraulic devices. Could the right metaphor unlock the its deepest secrets once and for all?

Galloping through centuries of wild speculation and ingenious, sometimes macabre anatomical investigations, scientist and historian Matthew Cobb reveals how…


Book cover of The New Mind Readers: What Neuroimaging Can and Cannot Reveal about Our Thoughts

Mark Bartholomew Author Of Intellectual Property and the Brain: How Neuroscience Will Reshape Legal Protection for Creations of the Mind

From my list on how neuroscience will change our lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a law professor who has been teaching and writing in the area of intellectual property for 20 years. As my career went along, I came to realize how important it is to not just mechanically apply the legal rules but to think about why they are there. Intellectual property law—a 7 trillion-dollar legal regime governing one-third of the U.S. economy—continually guesses as to how the minds of artists and audiences work. The more I read about neuroscientific advances, the more I realized that these guesses are often wrong and need to be updated for a new technological age.

Mark's book list on how neuroscience will change our lives

Mark Bartholomew Why did Mark love this book?

This book does a great job of describing what is possible and what is not when it comes to neuroscience. Poldrack, a professor of psychology at Stanford, makes sure we don’t lose the forest for the trees, boiling down the basics of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a way that anyone can understand. He is particularly strong on describing about how this technology might be used outside of university laboratories, discussing potential applications in law, advertising, and treatment of mental illness.

By Russell A. Poldrack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Mind Readers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A revealing insider's account of the power-and limitations-of functional MRI

The ability to read minds has long been a fascination of science fiction, but revolutionary new brain-imaging methods are bringing it closer to scientific reality. The New Mind Readers provides a compelling look at the origins, development, and future of these extraordinary tools, revealing how they are increasingly being used to decode our thoughts and experiences-and how this raises sometimes troubling questions about their application in domains such as marketing, politics, and the law.

Russell Poldrack takes readers on a journey of scientific discovery, telling the stories of the visionaries…


Book cover of Minority Report

Mark Bartholomew Author Of Intellectual Property and the Brain: How Neuroscience Will Reshape Legal Protection for Creations of the Mind

From my list on how neuroscience will change our lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a law professor who has been teaching and writing in the area of intellectual property for 20 years. As my career went along, I came to realize how important it is to not just mechanically apply the legal rules but to think about why they are there. Intellectual property law—a 7 trillion-dollar legal regime governing one-third of the U.S. economy—continually guesses as to how the minds of artists and audiences work. The more I read about neuroscientific advances, the more I realized that these guesses are often wrong and need to be updated for a new technological age.

Mark's book list on how neuroscience will change our lives

Mark Bartholomew Why did Mark love this book?

Sure, this book was written way back in 1956, but its dark tale of “mind reading” police is still just as captivating and relevant today. In Dick’s imagined future, three mutants are able to foresee crime before it occurs, allowing the cops to stop crime before it gets started. Like the mutants, today’s neural imaging machines are heralded as ways to see what people are thinking, revealing what they can’t or won’t voluntarily describe. The novel explores questions about expectations of privacy, the dangers of authoritarian regimes controlling invasive technologies, and the nature of free will—all issues that society will need to wrestle with as our understanding of the brain advances. 

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Imagine a future where crimes can be detected before they are committed, and criminals are convicted and sentenced for crimes before committing them. This is the scenario of Philip K. Dick's classic story, now filmed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Cruise.

In addition to MINORITY REPORT this exclusive collection includes nine other outstanding short stories by the twentieth century's outstanding SF master, three of which have been made into feature films.


Book cover of The Moral Conflict of Law and Neuroscience

Mark Bartholomew Author Of Intellectual Property and the Brain: How Neuroscience Will Reshape Legal Protection for Creations of the Mind

From my list on how neuroscience will change our lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a law professor who has been teaching and writing in the area of intellectual property for 20 years. As my career went along, I came to realize how important it is to not just mechanically apply the legal rules but to think about why they are there. Intellectual property law—a 7 trillion-dollar legal regime governing one-third of the U.S. economy—continually guesses as to how the minds of artists and audiences work. The more I read about neuroscientific advances, the more I realized that these guesses are often wrong and need to be updated for a new technological age.

Mark's book list on how neuroscience will change our lives

Mark Bartholomew Why did Mark love this book?

The lion’s share of commentary about the influence of neuroscience on our system of laws has focused on criminal law. What does it mean to punish people for actions that are really the product of biology rather than conscious choice? Alces grapples with what this means for criminal law and its concepts of moral responsibility and builds a thoughtful and compelling argument. But what I really liked was his equally sharp analysis of what this different conception of human agency means when it comes to tort and contract law—legal regimes that we are much more likely to confront in our daily lives.

By Peter A. Alces,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Law relies on a conception of human agency, the idea that humans are capable of making their own choices and are morally responsible for the consequences. But what if that is not the case? Over the past half century, the story of the law has been one of increased acuity concerning the human condition, especially the workings of the brain. The law already considers select cognitive realities in evaluating questions of agency and responsibility, such as age, sanity, and emotional distress. As new neuroscientific research comprehensively calls into question the very idea of free will, how should the law respond…


Book cover of Neurocomic

Kevin Davis Author Of The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America's Courtrooms

From my list on neuroscience for non-scientists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kevin Davis is the author of three non-fiction books about the criminal justice system, The Wrong Man, Defending the Damned and The Brain Defense. Davis has also authored eight nonfiction children’s books. He’s an award-winning journalist and magazine writer based in Chicago.

Kevin's book list on neuroscience for non-scientists

Kevin Davis Why did Kevin love this book?

I came across this “comic” book while researching my own book, The Brain Defense, and was immediately seduced by the terrific graphics and simple storytelling that takes readers on a journey through the brain via dreamy neuro landscapes including forests and caves populated by various creatures, beasts, and a giant squid. I enjoyed reading this and marveling over the images with my young son.

By Hana Ros, Matteo Farinella (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Do you know what your brain is made of? How does memory function? What is a neuron and how does it work? For that matter what's a comic? And in the words of Lewis Carroll's famous caterpillar: "Who are you?"

Neurocomic is a journey through the human brain: a place of neuron forests, memory caves, and castles of deception. Along the way, you'll encounter Boschean beasts, giant squid, guitar-playing sea slugs, and the great pioneers of neuroscience. Hana Ro and Matteo Farinella provide an insight into the most complex thing in the universe.


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.


Book cover of Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey Through the World's Strangest Brains

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?

Helen Thomson’s Unthinkable follows her around the world as she travels to meet individuals with some of the strangest neurological conditions imaginable.

Thomson is a respected journalist, and her writing talent really shines in describing these cases and how they are tied back to abnormalities in brain function. Unthinkable will teach you some neuroscience, but most of all it’s just a really fun read.

By Helen Thomson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Wonderfully clear, fluent and eye-opening' THE TIMES

'A stirring scientific journey, a celebration of human diversity and a call to rethink the "unthinkable"' NATURE

'An utterly fascinating romp around the nether regions of the human mind' BIG ISSUE

IMAGINE . . . getting lost in a one-room flat; seeing auras; never forgetting a moment; a permanent orchestra in your head; turning into a tiger; life as an out-of-body experience; feeling other people's pain; being convinced you are dead; becoming a different person overnight.

Our brains are far stranger than we think. We take it for granted that we can remember,…


Book cover of We Are Our Brains: A Neurobiography of the Brain, from the Womb to Alzheimer's

David J. Nutt Author Of Nutt Uncut

From my list on the brain and mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a doctor, psychiatrist, and brain researcher for nearly 50 years. I have treated thousands of patients, written over a thousand scientific articles, and given a similar number of lectures to medical and neuroscience students and to the general public. I have held many leadership positions in this field for academic groups both in UK and Europe and in 2009 I set up the charity Drug Science, to tell the truth about drugs and addiction.

David's book list on the brain and mind

David J. Nutt Why did David love this book?

A book written after decades of research by a leading neuroscientist to share his love of the brain with the general public. An ideal starter book for those of you who want to get a sense of all the different parts of the complex organ that comprise the human brain. In a series of chapters on the many different parts, regions structures, and brain processes this book provides a succinct yet comprehensive overview of the brain. It explains what the different parts do to make your brain work and how they work together they make us do what we do and makes sense of what we are.

By D.F. Swaab, Jane Hedley-Prole (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Are Our Brains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everything we think, do and refrain from doing is determined by our brain. From religion to sexuality, it shapes our potential, our desires and our characters. Taking us through every stage in our lives, from the womb to falling in love to old age, Dick Swaab shows that we don't just have brains: we are our brains.

'A blockbuster about the brain ... provocative, fascinating, remarkable' Clive Cookson, Financial Times

'A giant in the field' Zoe Williams, Guardian

'Engrossing, intriguing and enlightening' Robin Ince

'Enchantingly written' The Times Higher Education

'Wide-ranging, fun and informative ... as an ice-breaker at parties,…


Book cover of Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

Richard Passingham Author Of Cognitive Neuroscience: A Very Short Introduction

From my list on the human brain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked on the brain in Oxford since 1970, and my job also required me to teach students, not just in lectures but also in tutorials. This taught me how to communicate clearly. In my own scientific work, I was amongst the first to use functional brain imaging to visualize the human brain at work. I have written seven books and edited an eighth. My particular specialisation is decision making and the brain areas (such as the prefrontal cortex) that support it. I have just published a monograph of nearly 500 pages on the prefrontal cortex, aimed at other scientists in the field. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society. 

Richard's book list on the human brain

Richard Passingham Why did Richard love this book?

Ramachandran is famous for studying some of the disorders that can be produced for the brain. One such is phantom limb pain. Some people who have had an arm amputated continue to feel that arm, and even to have pain in it. Ramachandran devised an ingenious experiment to try to abolish that feeling. This and other clever ideas are described in this book. Readers will quickly appreciate that science is like the humanities in requiring creativity.

By V.S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Phantoms in the Brain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran is internationally renowned for uncovering answers to the deep and quirky questions of human nature that few scientists have dared to address. His bold insights about the brain are matched only by the stunning simplicity of his experiments -- using such low-tech tools as cotton swabs, glasses of water and dime-store mirrors. In Phantoms in the Brain, Dr. Ramachandran recounts how his work with patients who have bizarre neurological disorders has shed new light on the deep architecture of the brain, and what these findings tell us about who we are, how we construct our body image,…


Book cover of The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human

William Hirstein Author Of Responsible Brains: Neuroscience, Law, and Human Culpability

From my list on bridging the gap between mind and brain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I like trying to solve problems about the mind: Is the mind just the brain? What is consciousness, and where is it in the brain? What happens in the brain during aesthetic experience? Why are we prone to self-deception? In approaching these questions, I don’t limit myself to one discipline or set of techniques. These mental phenomena, and the problems that surround them, do not hew to our disciplinary boundaries. In spite of this, someone needs to collect, analyze, and assess information relevant to the problems—which is in many different formats—and build theories designed to make sense of it. During that time, more data will become available, so back you go.

William's book list on bridging the gap between mind and brain

William Hirstein Why did William love this book?

V. S. Ramachandran is a gifted experimentalist and writer who does not hesitate to pursue deep and important questions about our minds. Rather than employing expensive imaging or large sample sizes, he is more likely to use a cardboard box, an old stereopticon, or a rubber hand in his experiments. 

His creativity in finding concrete ways to test seemingly vague but interesting claims about our minds has led to several breakthroughs, in our understanding of phantom limbs and our ability to treat phantom pain, and also in our study or synesthesia—cases in which people see numbers as having colors, for example.

As I can attest, he is able to transmit to his students the idea that pursuing scientific questions can thrilling, fulfilling, and so much fun that you can’t wait to get to work in the morning.

By V.S. Ramachandran,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this landmark work, V. S. Ramachandran investigates strange, unforgettable cases-from patients who believe they are dead to sufferers of phantom limb syndrome. With a storyteller's eye for compelling case studies and a researcher's flair for new approaches to age-old questions, Ramachandran tackles the most exciting and controversial topics in brain science, including language, creativity, and consciousness.


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