The most recommended neuropsychology books

Who picked these books? Meet our 31 experts.

31 authors created a book list connected to neuropsychology, and here are their favorite neuropsychology books.
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Book cover of The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss

Lizzie Pickering Author Of When Grief Equals Love: Long-term Perspectives on Living with Loss

From my list on grief books to see you through the 3 Ds: death, diagnosis or divorce.

Who am I?

I am a speaker, grief investigator, filmmaker, and voracious reader! Since the death of my eldest son, Harry, 23 years ago, I have become passionate about changing the landscape for people who have to face life and work when they are living with grief. Books on grief helped me enormously right from the start with Harry’s diagnosis when I was going through ‘living’ or ‘anticipatory grief’ and even more after Harry’s death. They could be fiction or factual; it didn’t matter. They offered me a translation, a guide for what I was going through, and gave me the courage to go forward as these authors were demonstrating. 

Lizzie's book list on grief books to see you through the 3 Ds: death, diagnosis or divorce

Lizzie Pickering Why did Lizzie love this book?

I have spent the last 24 years living with grief personally over my son Harry and professionally investigating the grief of others, and no other book has explained to me so well how we survive grief and why it takes so long to adapt to it.

This book caused so many light bulb moments! My biggest takeaway is that it takes a lifetime for our brains to map the people in our lives and many weeks, months, and years to remap when someone dies or leaves us.

To have that scientifically proven is a gift for anyone living with grief; it normalises what can feel more like madness, and that is a comfort. 

By Mary-Frances O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NPR SciFri Book Club Pick

Next Big Idea Club's "Top 21 Psychology Books of 2022"

Behavioral Scientist Notable Books of 2022

A renowned grief expert and neuroscientist shares groundbreaking discoveries about what happens in our brain when we grieve, providing a new paradigm for understanding love, loss, and learning.

In The Grieving Brain, neuroscientist and psychologist Mary-Frances O'Connor, PhD, gives us a fascinating new window into one of the hallmark experiences of being human. O'Connor has devoted decades to researching the effects of grief on the brain, and in this book, she makes cutting-edge neuroscience accessible through her contagious enthusiasm,…


Book cover of Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are

Kerrie Holley Author Of AI-First Healthcare: AI Applications in the Business and Clinical Management of Health

From my list on artificial intelligence in health care.

Who am I?

I fell in love with technology when I wrote my first computer program at age 14 when there was no public Internet, no personal computers, no iPhone, no cloud. I have made technical contributions to every era of computing from mainframes, to PCs, Internet, Cloud, and now AI. I was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering. AI currently surpasses my wildest imagination on the art of what’s possible. I'm still passionately working in technology at Google focused on how to live healthier lives. I believe we can make AI the telescope of the future, to helping everyone live long and healthy lives.

Kerrie's book list on artificial intelligence in health care

Kerrie Holley Why did Kerrie love this book?

The opening paragraph of this book is pure poetry in motion, putting me in a trance and craving to read the entire book. 

You wouldn’t know this is a book about neuroscience when reading the opening lines in Chapter 1. Connectome is a thought-provoking exploration of the brain's neural connections and their potential to transform our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. 

Given that artificial intelligence is inspired by neuroscience it’s a great book to understand how the brain works.

By Sebastian Seung,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Connectome, by Sebastian Seung is 'One of the most eagerly awaited scientific books of the year ... intellectually exhilarating, beautifully written, exquisitely precise yet still managing to be inspirational' Irish Times

What really makes us who we are? In this groundbreaking book, pioneering neuroscientist Sebastian Seung shows that our identity does not lie in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells - our own particular wiring, or 'connectomes'.

Everything about us - emotions, thoughts, memories - is encoded in these tangled patterns of neural connections, and now Seung and a dedicated team are mapping them in order…


Book cover of Divergent Mind: Thriving in a World That Wasn't Designed for You

Sara Hosey Author Of Summer People

From my list on for those of us in the neurodiverse universe.

Who am I?

I was an adult before I realized I had ADHD. Getting a diagnosis was like getting glasses; so many things in my life immediately became clear to me, including that I wasn’t simply a sloppy, lazy, scattered person. And I also learned, like many others, that ADHD can be a challenge and a strength.

Sara's book list on for those of us in the neurodiverse universe

Sara Hosey Why did Sara love this book?

My friend Vanessa gave me this part memoir/part investigation of how, why, and to what end neurodiversity is often misunderstood or overlooked in women. (I wonder why? Just kidding. I know why.)

I so appreciate how Nerenberg approaches neurodiversity not as a problem, but as, at core, simply a difference. And difference, as well know, can be difficult, but it can also be rad.

This is a must-read if you kind of suspect you might be neurodiverse and want to learn more, or if you know you’re neurodiverse and are looking for a book that will make you feel less alone, as well as will offer a hopeful and empowering perspective. Thanks, Vanessa!

By Jenara Nerenberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

AUDIBLE EDITOR'S PICK


A paradigm-shifting study of neurodivergent women-those with ADHD, autism, synesthesia, high sensitivity, and sensory processing disorder-exploring why these traits are overlooked in women and how society benefits from allowing their unique strengths to flourish.

As a successful Harvard and Berkeley-educated writer, entrepreneur, and devoted mother, Jenara Nerenberg was shocked to discover that her "symptoms"--only ever labeled as anxiety-- were considered autistic and ADHD. Being a journalist, she dove into the research and uncovered neurodiversity-a framework that moves away from pathologizing "abnormal" versus "normal" brains and instead recognizes the vast diversity of our mental makeups.

When it comes…


Book cover of The New Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes in a Complex World

Alan E. Johnson Author Of Reason and Human Ethics

From my list on a rational approach to ethics.

Who am I?

Since I was a teenager, I have thought about the connection between reason and ethics. This preoccupation was present during my formal education (A.B. and A.M., University of Chicago; J.D., Cleveland State University), during my three decades as a practicing lawyer, and, finally, as an independent philosopher during more than a decade of retirement from law practice. My book Reason and Human Ethics is the culmination of my reflection about this philosophical issue. The books I have recommended have been among those references that have been most helpful to me in formulating my own conclusions, though my own views are not identical with those of any other writing.

Alan's book list on a rational approach to ethics

Alan E. Johnson Why did Alan love this book?

Early evolutionary biology was preoccupied with notions of Social Darwinism (the survival of the fittest), but later developments in the field have focused not only on evolving patterns of social cooperation but also on the nature of the human brain itself. The latter is the subject of neuroscientist Elkhonon Goldberg’s The New Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes in a Complex World. Goldberg observes that human cerebral evolution has resulted in the development of a complex human brain. Humans possess, by way of their frontal lobes (especially their prefrontal cortex), complex executive functions involving advanced intentionality and decision-making. Goldberg recognizes that emotional areas of the brain interact with its executive functions, but his neuroscientific investigations support my own view that human reason, rightly understood, should supervise human thought and action.

By Elkhonon Goldberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Elkhonon Goldberg's groundbreaking The Executive Brain was a classic of scientific writing, revealing how the frontal lobes command the most human parts of the mind. Now he offers a completely new book, providing fresh, iconoclastic ideas about the relationship between the brain and the mind.
In The New Executive Brain, Goldberg paints a sweeping panorama of cutting-edge thinking in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology, one that ranges far beyond the frontal lobes. Drawing on the latest discoveries, and developing complex scientific ideas and relating them to real life through many fascinating case studies and anecdotes, the author explores how the brain…


Book cover of How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement

Linda T. Kaastra Author Of Grounding the Analysis of Cognitive Processes in Music Performance: Distributed Cognition in Musical Activity

From my list on meaningful engagement with objects and people.

Who am I?

As an interdisciplinary scholar with professional musical training, I surveyed the literature in cognitive science for conceptual frameworks that would shed light on tacit processes in musical activity. I was tired of research that treats the musician either as a “lab rat” not quite capable of fully understanding what they do or as a “channel” for the mysterious and divine. I view musicians as human beings who engage in meaningful activity with instruments and with each other. Musicians are knowledgeable, skilled, and deeply creative. The authors on this list turn a scientific lens on human activity that further defines how we make ourselves through meaningful work and interactions.

Linda's book list on meaningful engagement with objects and people

Linda T. Kaastra Why did Linda love this book?

I love the way Malafouris delves into deeply philosophical questions about the boundaries of the mind. Working from the perspective of cognitive archeology, he broadly examines what makes us human in our engagement with objects and each other. Why does it help to understand the mind this way? Whenever we want to learn more about how we do the things we do, theories like Malafouris’ material engagement theory can help us to organize familiar tasks and situations in a way that makes the underlying cognitive processes transparent. If you want to improve your performance in any area, conceptual frameworks like this one (and the one in my book) can bring tacit processes into focus. 

By Lambros Malafouris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Things Shape the Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An account of the different ways in which things have become cognitive extensions of the human body, from prehistory to the present.

An increasingly influential school of thought in cognitive science views the mind as embodied, extended, and distributed rather than brain-bound or “all in the head.” This shift in perspective raises important questions about the relationship between cognition and material culture, posing major challenges for philosophy, cognitive science, archaeology, and anthropology. In How Things Shape the Mind, Lambros Malafouris proposes a cross-disciplinary analytical framework for investigating the ways in which things have become cognitive extensions of the human body.…


Book cover of The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio

Larry R. Frank Sr. Author Of Wealth Odyssey: The Essential Road Map for Your Financial Journey Where Is It You Are Really Trying to Go with Money?

From my list on issues that confuse many people about money.

Who am I?

Wealth Odyssey is a summary work based on a 12-hour adult education course I taught for 10 years. It’s important to me to educate people through my 29 years in the profession (1994-2023), my focus has always been on helping people first understand that retirement means you’re wealthy enough not to work anymore – working is optional. You don’t need to be rich. Wealth is scalable for any income level and comes from foundation income and investments to supplement that foundation to support your desired lifestyle’s Standard of Individual Living (SOIL) for as long as you live. Your focus should be on your plan and apply a few concepts grounded in well researched evidence.

Larry's book list on issues that confuse many people about money

Larry R. Frank Sr. Why did Larry love this book?

This is a wonderful book organized around four main concepts, each valuable in their own right: 1) The Theory of Investing; 2) The History of Investing; 3) The Psychology of Investing; and 3) The Business of Investing. 

The latter, the business section makes it clear the stockbroker is not your friend, even though they’re friendly (by design). Having started my career on the sales side of the business, I quickly learned the agenda is less about the customer and more about product sales, even though I was also a Certified Financial Planner ProfessionalTM

I dropped sales licenses and became a fee-only advisor and member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) where the focus is on planning and helping clients achieve their wants and goals.

The principles in Bernstein’s book marry well with those of both Swedroe’s and Statman’s books (above) in the application of growing…

By William Bernstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Four Pillars of Investing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This new edition of the bestselling guide brings sophisticated investors-including institutional and individual investors, investment bankers, and those who want to follow in the footsteps of legends like John Bogle-up to date on ETFs, risk management, neuropsychological investing concepts, and more

Since its original publication two decades ago, The Four Pillars of Investing has become a classic guide for serious investors. The practicalities of investing, however, have changed dramatically, particularly pertaining to ETFs, and thinking has evolved about a host of key issues, such as lifecycle finance, the nature of risk, and basic finance and neuropsychological concepts. This new edition…


Book cover of Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology

Tom Stafford Author Of Mind Hacks: Tips & Tools for Using Your Brain

From my list on understanding the human mind.

Who am I?

I am now a Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Sheffield, UK. I co-wrote Mind Hacks with technologist Matt Webb; we had great fun doing it. My research has always been in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, using experiments to understand the mind and brain and how they fit together. 

Tom's book list on understanding the human mind

Tom Stafford Why did Tom love this book?

Broks draws upon his experience as a neuropsychologist to tell illuminating case studies of those with brain injury and other anomalies of experience. Woven through are reflections on the philosophy of what it means to have a mind which is based on the meat of the brain and what it means for our sense of selves to have damage to that brain.

Humane and moving, with flashes of dark humour, Broks brings back from the outlying lands of human experiences lessons that are relevant for all of us.

By Paul Broks,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Into the Silent Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Dopaminergic Mind in Human Evolution and History

Michael E. Long Author Of The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race

From my list on finding your place in the world.

Who am I?

I’m interested in everything – which is a problem, because there’s not time for everything. So how do you find the best of the world and your own place in it? Understanding your motivations is a good place to start, hence The Molecule of More. The rest comes from exploring as much as you can, and that begins with understanding the scope of what’s out there: ideas, attitudes, and cultures. The greatest joy in my life comes from the jaw-dropping realization that the world is so full of potential and wonder. These books are a guide to some of the best of it, and some of the breadth of it.

Michael's book list on finding your place in the world

Michael E. Long Why did Michael love this book?

If you’re reading my book recommendations, it’s almost certainly because you read the book Dan Lieberman and I wrote about dopamine. In that case, you’ll want to read the book that inspired us to write our book, Fred Previc’s seminal explanation of the technical aspects of dopamine and psychology. If you were hoping for a deeper diver on certain points, Previc’s text is the only way to go – and we remain grateful to him for his groundbreaking work.

By Fred H. Previc,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dopaminergic Mind in Human Evolution and History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What does it mean to be human? There are many theories of the evolution of human behavior which seek to explain how our brains evolved to support our unique abilities and personalities. Most of these have focused on the role of brain size or specific genetic adaptations of the brain. In contrast, in this text, Fred Previc presents a provocative theory that high levels of dopamine, the most widely studied neurotransmitter, account for all major aspects of modern human behavior. He further emphasizes the role of epigenetic rather than genetic factors in the rise of dopamine. Previc contrasts the great…


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.

Who am I?

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 Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: An Integrative Handbook of the Mind

Jim Brown Author Of Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

From my list on brain, mind, and consciousness.

Who am I?

I have spent my entire professional life quietly patrolling the frontiers of understanding human consciousness. I was an early adopter in the burgeoning field of biofeedback, then neurofeedback and neuroscience, plus theory and practices of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, plus steeping myself in systems theory as a context for all these other fields of focus. I hold a MS in psychology from San Francisco State University and a PhD from Saybrook Institute. I live in Mount Shasta CA with Molly, my life partner for over 60 years. We have two sons and two grandchildren.

Jim's book list on brain, mind, and consciousness

Jim Brown Why did Jim love this book?

In this uniquely structured book, Dan Siegel covers the major elements of interpersonal neurobiology, which is one of the most exciting theoretical constructs currently available. Siegel and I are definitely on the same page in applying complex dynamical systems theory to the understanding of mind/body integration, consciousness, and the essential role of interpersonal relationships in healthy human development.

By Daniel J. Siegel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Many fields have explored the nature of mental life from psychology to psychiatry, literature to linguistics. Yet no common "framework" where each of these important perspectives can be honored and integrated with one another has been created in which a person seeking their collective wisdom can find answers to some basic questions, such as, What is the purpose of life? Why are we here? How do we know things, how are we conscious of ourselves? What is the mind? What makes a mind healthy or unwell? And, perhaps most importantly: What is the connection among the mind, the brain, and…