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Publisher's Summary

Brilliantly exploring today's cutting edge brain research, Mind Wide Open allows readers to understand themselves and the people in their lives as never before. Using a mix of experiential reportage, personal storytelling, and fresh scientific discovery, Steven Johnson describes how the brain works and how its systems connect to the day-to-day realities of individual lives.

Johnson embarks on this path as his own test subject, participating in a battery of tests and experiments in search of a modern answer to the oldest of questions: who am I? He explores how we "read" other people, how the brain processes frightening events, what the neurochemistry is behind love and sex, how our brain teems with powerful chemicals closely related to recreational drugs, why music moves us to tears, and where our breakthrough ideas come from.

Johnson suggests that learning about the brain's mechanics can widen one's self-awareness as powerfully as any therapy, meditation or drug. To read Mind Wide Open is to rethink family histories, individual fates, and the very nature of the self.

©2003 Steven Johnson; (P)2004 Tantor Media, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"It's the rare popular science book that not only gives the reader a gee-whiz glimpse at an emerging field, but also offers a guide for incorporating its new insights into one's own worldview. [Johnson] does just that in his fascinating, engagingly written new survey." (Publishers Weekly)
"Spreading a gospel to be curious about one's own mind, Johnson, aided by personal anecdotes about, for example, the length of his attention span, will snare even those unfamiliar with brain science." (Booklist)

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