Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Book Review

Molly Pieri's picture

Book Report: "Blink" and the Role of the Unconscious in Thought

Can we know something without knowing how we know it? This is precisely the question that Malcolm Gladwell sets out to ponder in his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Looking at scientific experiments from laboratories nation-wide, Gladwell explores the fascinating phenomenon of “thin-slicing”, or making snap-judgments without consciously engaging in the decision making process. These “thin-slices”, Gladwell asserts, are surprisingly accurate—sometimes even more so than the decisions we make after long hours of careful consideration and reflection. One particularly interesting question raised by this study is

jwong's picture

The Geography of Thought: Asian and Western Minds at Work

The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently... and Why

Richard E. Nisbett (2003)

Caitlin Jeschke's picture

A Book Review--Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses by Richard E. Cytowic, M.D.

        In the second edition of his book Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses, Dr. Cytowic draws on his intimate knowledge of the development and workings of the human brain, as well as his ample experience with synesthetic patients of various ages and backgrounds, to define the basic characteristics of the phenomenon, search for a probable location for the physiological integration of synesthetic percepts, and relate synesthesia to common neurological processes that allow each one of us to interpret our surroundings.  Along the way, Cytowic provides a current model of the architecture and connectivity of the brain and neural tissues, as well as some interesting examples of how synesthesia can inspire the creation of art and music.  

Lyndsey C's picture

Knocking on New Doors :A Review of Mind Wide Open

          Fortunately for many of us, studying neurobiology doesn’t have to be rocket science. In fact, it’s merely brain science! According to Steven Johnson, author of Mind Wide Open, studying the brain is best approached with an open mind (pun intended). At times, it may be difficult to comprehend the various complex processes which are occurring within our skulls each day. Furthermore, it is often a challenge to relate such knowledge to our everyday lives. Johnson’s book attempts to make this journey a little less arduous, however, by colloquially explaining several salient brain processes in a way that inexperienced readers can understand and appreciate without much confusion.

Emily Alspector's picture

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Aside from the beautiful and charismatic style which makes the procession through The Diving Bell and the Butterfly absolutely enthralling, complete appreciation of this book requires an acknowledgement of the implausible efforts of its creator. It is rare that a book can be inspiring based not only on the content of the writing but also on the process of its creation. Jean-Dominique Bauby does not explicitly give details about his condition, nor about how he went about writing this book. This seems to be the main theme of the book: it is not why, but how. He does not want the reader to know much about his accident or the painstaking method of communication he has been forced to resort to, but

eambash's picture

Computing The Creative Mind: How Margaret Boden Sails, then Scales, the Psyche

Computing The Creative Mind: How Margaret Boden Sails, then Scales, the Psyche

Skye Harmony's picture

A Self-Help Guide to the Female Brain

Commentary on The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine, M.D.


anonstudent01's picture

A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness

What is free will? What is body image? Why do we blush? What is art? What is the self? Who am I? Drawing from years of clinical research and medical practice, V.S. Ramachandran invites us to explore some of these daunting philosophical questions through the principles and findings of neuroscience in his book A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Imposter Poodles to Purple Numbers. Dr. Ramachandran has studied some of the most bizarre neurological syndromes ever recorded and in this book attempts to convey the promise that some of these problems may hold for science. In the book he discusses cases of synesthesia, hysteria, phantom

Syndicate content