THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN BRAVE NEW BRAIN
Microchips in your brain. Thought-controlled technology. Cures for Alzheimer’s, depression, and mental retardation. Treatments to erase memories, pills to make you smarter, and bionic spare parts to restore lost neural functions.
Sound like science fiction? Science fiction, meet science fact. These and more startling probabilities, based on current and ongoing research in neuroscience, are engagingly explored in THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN BRAVE NEW BRAIN (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Imprint; April 2010; $25.95 / Cloth; ISBN: 978-0-470-37624-9). Gleaning from the latest research and articles from Scientific American and Scientific American Mind, journalist Judith Horstman offers a comprehensive and entertaining gaze into the science––and wonders––possible in our brains’ very near future. Contrasting science fiction of the recent past and present with scientific breakthroughs that are––in some cases––even more fantastic, Horstman shows what could be in store for our brains over the next few decades and the potential economic, legal and ethical fallout of this rampant change and progress.
Based on research outlined in the book, experts’ top five predictions for the future of mental power are that:
- Microchips in or on our brains will enhance memory, store data, and connect wirelessly to the internet, eliminating our cell phones and allowing us to control machines via mental Wi-Fi.
- Advances in neuroscience and bioengineering will render Alzheimer’s, brain damage, depression and perhaps even mental retardation largely preventable, curable and possibly reversible.
- Neuroenhancers – from smart pills to mechanical devices– will improve thinking, enhance creativity, relieve depression, erase traumatic memories and boost mental endurance.
- Bionic or biological spare brain parts that already restore hearing and give sight to the blind could restore movement and speech to the paralyzed—and give super powers to the healthy.
- Neuroimaging that now “reads” brains to detect disease will be able to accurately detect deception, antisocial tendencies, and dangerous inclinations––in addition to predicting behavior.
Both scientifically accurate and easily accessible, THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN BRAVE NEW BRAIN peers into the near future and offers a provocative view of the possibilities of our mental power.