The best neuroscience books 📚

Browse the best books on neuroscience as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime

The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime

By Adrian Raine

Why this book?

Adriane Raine has been studying the brains of convicted murderers for decades and his fascinating and accessible book uses neuroscience to help explain, though not excuse, their behavior due to anomalies and injuries to their brains. Raine makes a strong case that various impairments to the brain can inhibit the ability to put the brakes on impulsive, antisocial, and harmful behavior.

From the list:

The best books that make neuroscience interesting for non-scientists

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Book cover of Brain-Based Parenting: The Neuroscience of Caregiving for Healthy Attachment

Brain-Based Parenting: The Neuroscience of Caregiving for Healthy Attachment

By Daniel A. Hughes, Jonathan Baylin

Why this book?

My students love this book. It takes the inside perspective of both the parent and the child in stressful situations and guides the reader on how to act in a way that builds connection and relationship. It is easy to read with lots of real-life examples.
From the list:

The best books for neuroscientific parenting

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Book cover of The Neuroscience of Sleep and Dreams

The Neuroscience of Sleep and Dreams

By Patrick McNamara

Why this book?

Written by a well-known sleep and dream scientist, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to the neuroscience of sleep and dreams. In addition to covering a wide range of neuroscientific ideas and discoveries, this well-organized and easy to follow book discusses many of these sleep and dream-related findings within larger social as well as evolutionary contexts. The end result is a stimulating and enriching take on our current understanding of the science of sleep and dreams.

From the list:

The best books on the science of dreams

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Book cover of Virtual Child: The Terrifying Truth about What Technology Is Doing to Children

Virtual Child: The Terrifying Truth about What Technology Is Doing to Children

By Cris A. Rowan

Why this book?

Written by a pediatric occupational therapist, this book offers unique insight into how screen-based technology acts as a physical restraint which undermines, fragments, and disorganizes various systems, resulting in delays and acting out. Rowan dives deep, and her concepts and explanations have informed my work greatly. Some critical points include her explanations of how video games increase visual distractibility, how not practicing hand-printing affects the ability to read, and how core strength influences the ability to learn. 

From the list:

The best books on the effects of screen time on kids (based on neuroscience)

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Book cover of Can Your Teen Survive—and Thrive—Without a Smartphone?

Can Your Teen Survive—and Thrive—Without a Smartphone?

By Melanie Hempe

Why this book?

This gem of a book presents the argument that parents should consider delaying giving their children smartphones until the child becomes an adult and has attained certain life skills. A mother of four, former nurse, and founder of ScreenStrong, author Melanie Hempe lived through digital addiction in her own family and is passionate about helping other families avoid her “mistakes”. At the same time she is well-versed in the current scientific literature across a broad array of tech-related topics, and she successfully “walks the talk”: her teens abstain from gaming/social media/smartphone use, but they are far from being socially ostracized…

From the list:

The best books on the effects of screen time on kids (based on neuroscience)

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Book cover of The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us about Success

The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us about Success

By Kevin Dutton

Why this book?

I believe that mental health lies on a spectrum – a range of symptoms. Dr. Dutton explores the psychopathic spectrum – from serial killers to “functional” ones who live, work, and play among us. He maintains that we all have psychopathic tendencies in different amounts. He bases his ideas on the Psychopathic Checklist and the Psychopathic Personality Inventory as well as the latest research. This comes at a time when society, politics, and culture increasingly reward psychopathic behaviors by giving them what they crave – power, fame, and money. It helps readers fully understand the range and muscle of psychopaths.

From the list:

The best books about psychopaths

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