Splendors and Miseries of the Brain: Love, Creativity, and the Quest for Human Happiness
December 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
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“Set ... quite apart from the snappiness of most contemporary science-writing ... the book thinks hard, feels warmly and puts out provocative suggestions.” (London Review of Books, October 2009)
“I enjoyed reading this book and appreciated the attempt of the author to bridge the expansive chasm between experimental result on visual sensory input and the intimate human experiences for which we all strive.” (The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, September 2009)
"Zeki’s book has a beautiful and enigmatic cover and title. Zeki explores the unachievable through the works of artists and writers, concluding with Freud’s Civilisation and its Discontents. Counsellors with a background both in neuroscience and an interest in the arts will find it a fascinating read." (Therapy Today, September 2009)
"An exuberant read." (Times Higher Education, April 2009)
"The book offers a glimpse into the physiological, neurological and emotional mechanisms of the most profound human part of our experience." (Yoga and Health, February 2009)
“This is a brave and unusual book¯what you are trying to do is look at the detailed neuroarchitecture of the brain, your particular specialty is how the brain sees (vision), and then apply it to a wider range of cultural ideas. I loved this book.” (Andrew Marr, Start The Week, Radio 4, November 2008)
"What was once dangerous territory is now the hottest theme in brain research. the subtitle of Semir Zeki's excellent new book is Love, Creativity and the Quest for Human Happiness ... .One of the world's leading neurophysiologist [Zeki] has turned to brain imaging to explore matters as seemingly outside brain science's territory as beauty in literature and art - and even 'romantic love.'" (Guardian, December 2008)
“This is going to lead to a new way of writing about the arts, and a new audience for certain kinds of science at the same time. (Start The Week, Radio 4, November 2008)“This book is not about what neuroscience reveals about love and about art, but it is about what love and art reveal about the brain. This book reveals the intimate relationship between the fundamental function of the brain and the highest of human experiences.”–Chris Frith FRS, University College London, and author of Making up the Mind
“The Brain Sciences hold out the great promise of being a natural bridge between the sciences, concerned with the nature of life and the universe, and the humanities, concerned with the nature of human existence. No one is in a better position to bridge this divide than Semir Zeki, and he has succeeded in illustrating how it must be done in this remarkable book, The Splendors and Miseries of the Brain.” –Eric Kandel, University Professor and Kavli Professor, Director of Kavli Institute for Brain Sciences, Columbia University, and Senior Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
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