The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us about Ourselves

The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us about Ourselves Review

A Nobel Prize–winning neuroscientist’s probing investigation of what brain disorders can tell us about human nature

Eric R. Kandel, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his foundational research into memory storage in the brain, is one of the pioneers of modern brain science. His work continues to shape our understanding of how learning and memory work and to break down age-old barriers between the sciences and the arts.

In his seminal new book, The Disordered Mind, Kandel draws on a lifetime of pathbreaking research and the work of many other leading neuroscientists to take us on an unusual tour of the brain. He confronts one of the most difficult questions we face: How does our mind, our individual sense of self, emerge from the physical matter of the brain? The brain’s 86 billion neurons communicate with one another through very precise connections. But sometimes those connections are disrupted. The brain processes that give rise to our mind can become disordered, resulting in diseases such as autism, depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. While these disruptions bring great suffering, they can also reveal the mysteries of how the brain produces our most fundamental experiences and capabilities—the very nature of what it means to be human. Studies of autism illuminate the neurological foundations of our social instincts; research into depression offers important insights on emotions and the integrity of the self; and paradigm-shifting work on addiction has led to a new understanding of the relationship between pleasure and willpower.

By studying disruptions to typical brain functioning and exploring their potential treatments, we will deepen our understanding of thought, feeling, behavior, memory, and creativity. Only then can we grapple with the big question of how billions of neurons generate consciousness itself.

Title:The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us about Ourselves
Edition Language:English

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Cathy

    Fascinating brain stuff here. Eric is certainly an expert. Some things I've already heard, but a lot of new information also. I like how well he explains the inner workings of our mystery organ....

  • Tony

    THE DISORDERED MIND. (2018). Eric R. Kandel. ****.I found this work to be a fascinating review of our existing knowledge of the brain and how it works. The author is currently a professor at Columbia ...

  • Molly

    Received a review copy in exchange for my review. I wish I could leave a better one. The book is full of animal testing and psychiatric binaries of sick and well. It lacks an ethical framework in its ...

  • Kristine

    The Disordered Mind by Eric R. Kandel is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early August.You get the impression that, throughout this book, disorder is abnormal or there’s a baseline that everyon...

  • Ania Holubecki

    Good book for an overview, especially for those not in the field! Appreciated how Kandel would redefine concepts and terms as they came up instead of forcing readers to remember them from before. Also...

  • Corvus

    Goodreads removed my review which was the top rated review on this page. The reason was that I called attention to the animal abuse in the book and that which is conducted by Kandel. I even took the t...

  • Melise

    I read an ARC from NetGalley and Farrah, Straus And Giroux. Thanks!I am always interested in reading about the intersection of brain physiology and psychology/behavior. This book was a great overview ...

  • Bonnie

    I found this book very disappointing. There wasn't a lot that was new. The subtitle, "What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves," makes a promise that is unfulfilled. He never says what disorders li...

  • Jim

    I won this book on Goodreads. This book is fascinating, the topics include Alzheimer's, gender identity, Parkinson's, PTSD, bipolar, schizophrenia, autism and several other disorders. It may not be of...

  • Dan

    This book does not pretend to be a comprehensive treatise on brain disorders. It is more like a multi-course tasting menu of interesting topics in cognitive neuroscience and should be savored as such....