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Paperback | $30.00 Short | £20.95 | ISBN: 9780262571357 | 273 pp. | 7 x 9 in | July 1999

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Brain, Vision, Memory

Tales in the History of Neuroscience


Charles G. Gross is an experimental neuroscientist who specializes in brain mechanisms in vision. He is also fascinated by the history of his field. In these engaging tales describing the growth of knowledge about the brain—from the early Egyptians and Greeks to the Dark Ages and the Renaissance to the present time—he attempts to answer the question of how the discipline of neuroscience evolved into its modern incarnation through the twists and turns of history.


About the Author

Charles G. Gross, a neuroscientist specializing in vision and the functions of the cerebral cortex, is Professor of Psychology at Princeton University. He is the author of Brain, Vision, Memory: Tales in the History of Neuroscience (MIT Press, 1998).


"Gross's tales of the history of neuroscience can be warmlyrecommended to all students of the brain, but especially to those whobelieve that history began when they were undergraduates. Informativeand amusing in equal part, Gross is as fair to those who were wildlywrong as to those who were (relatively) right. . . . Never less thanfascinating."—John C. Marshall, Nature


"Charlie Gross has written a fascinating set of essays, full of important historical knowledge, and enriched with colorful vignettes. His peice on the 'hippocampus minor; is destined to become a classic. The historical range is very great—from the Egyptians to contemporary work, including developments to which he has himself contributed. Anyone interested in the history of neuroscience will be engrossed."
Lawrence Weiskrantz, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Oxford

"The question is: can humans ever fully comprehend their own brains? This delightful and deeply informative history of past attempts gives little reason for confidence. Charles Gross provides an incisive account of the often misguided efforts by scientists and philosophers to understand the biological basis of vision and memory—an account that should encourage today's neuroscientists to search carefully for their own misconceptions and follies."
Dr. Torsten N. Wiesel, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, The Rockefeller University

"Brain lovers are in for a rare treat: here's a brain book that is filled iwth historical treasures and is a pure pleasure to read besides. An eminent neuroscientist, the author also turns out to be a master sleuth of forgotten facts as well as a thoroughly entertaining teller of tales."
Mortimer Mishkin, Laboratory of Neuropsychology, National Institute of Mental Health

"This unique collection of essays will be a delight to neuroscientists and cognitive scientists. Drawing especially on examples from vision, Gross tells how our understanding of the brain grew over the centuries to the point when today's neuroscientists began their work."
Larry R. Squire, PhD, Research Career Scientist, VA Medical Center, San Diego and Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, University of California School of Medicine