• Publication date: 05/03/2020
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780715653944

The Man Who Wasn’t There

Anil Ananthaswamy,

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Reveals the mind boggling neuroscience connecting brain, body, mind, and society, by examining a range of brain disorders, in the tradition of Oliver Sacks.

Identifying what makes up the nature of the human mind has long been neuroscience’s greatest challenge – a mystery perhaps never to be fully understood. Award-winning author and master of science journalism Anil Ananthaswamy smartly explores the concept of self by way of several mental conditions that alter patients’ identities, showing how we learn a lot about being human from people with a fragmented or altered sense of self.

He travels the world to meet those who suffer from “maladies of the self” interviewing patients, psychiatrists, philosophers and neuroscientists along the way. He charts how the self is affected by Asperger’s, autism, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia, among many other mental conditions, revealing how the brain constructs our sense of self. Each chapter is anchored with stories of people who experience themselves differently from the norm.

The Man Who Wasn’t There is a magical mystery tour of scientific analysis and philosophical pondering, now utterly transformed by recent advances in cutting-edge neuroscience.

***PRAISE FOR THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE***

‘Ananthaswamy excels at making theoretical concepts and experimental procedures both comprehensible and compelling.’ Science

‘If you simply want to read a great science book, I can’t recommend any more highly than this one.’ Forbes

‘A compelling and entertaining look at the last untapped mystery, the true final frontier: the nature of our selves. Science journalism at its best.’ Daniel J. Levitin, author of The Organized Mind

‘An agreeably written travelogue through this mysterious landscape at the frontiers of knowledge.’ The Wall Street Journal 

‘You’ll never see yourself—or others—the same way again.’ People

‘Ananthaswamy’s remarkable achievement is to make sense of these unhappy individuals’ otherness, while holding on to their human sameness. You’ll come away enlightened and chastened, asking searching questions about who you are.’ Nicholas Humphrey, author of A History of the Mind

‘It is an astonishing journey and an ambitious book, bringing together cutting-edge science and philosophy from West and East. You will not be quite the same self after reading it.’ New Scientist