Brain scans to see what jobs we can do

Advertising using brain scans to see what we’ll purchase

Neural tests to show who will attract us romantically

Brain image profiles to see who we’ll vote for

Sounds like I’ve been reading my science fiction again, doesn’t it? Instead I’m reading a fascinating book by Richard Restak, M.D. called The Naked Brain. Dr. Restak is a neurologist and professor at George Washington University’s Medical Center.

From the back cover: “…Restak explores how the latest technology and research have exposed the brain and how we think, feel, remember, and socialize…Now that knowledge is being used by doctors, advertisers, politicians, and others to influence and revolutionize nearly every aspect of our daily lives.”

This is written in easy, enjoyable layman’s language. The studies Dr. Restak cite are fascinating. He applies the results to our every day lives and shows how the brain controls our reactions, emotions, and reason.

Of course, being a medical librarian, my first thought was to check Dr. Restak’s work. He has authored a few articles that are in respected journals over the past 35 years (I checked PubMed) and has an impressive bibliography at the end of the book. Then I was able to read the book with creditability and enjoy it. It is a compelling look at what we know about the brain now and what we will be able to do with that knowledge in the future.

One Comment

  1. Comment by Lazygal:

    I enjoyed The New Brain, his book about the way my student’s brains work. You’re right about him being a readable science writer – it’s informative, without requiring a degree or “special knowledge” to understand what is, essentially, a complex topic.