The Human Brain
By Susan Greenfield
Review by Leenah (Medicine)
At the end of Year 12, I knew I should probably be reading more than I had been about my subject (medicine) so I went to my school library and had a rummage around the shelves. Most of the vaguely medical books didn’t look very exciting, but I came across this book and, after having a flick through, decided that it didn’t look terrible and that I should give it a try. It was really good!
Essentially, it gives an overview of the brain’s structure and how it works, going into detail about loads of different bits, like the motor cortex (the part that controls movement), what the brain does when we sleep, how we see and sense different things and even a part about how the brain and nervous system develops in babies (this is confusing, but very cool). Greenfield also weaves in different examples of diseases and conditions that can affect the brain, such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, a condition called synaesthesia (where your senses become mixed – some people can see smells, for example) and many others – I found the clinical examples to very interesting and made a nice break from solid facts!
The brain is a massively complex organ and can be very confusing, but I thought the book did a good job of explaining the different processes and functions associated with the brain while not oversimplifying too much.
I think scientific books can seem quite daunting at first, especially if they’re very fact-heavy and have lots of specialist language, but I would really recommend this book if you’re interested in the brain at all, since it explains everything in relatively simple terms and it’s not too technical – it gives a good overview and basic foundation of knowledge which you can always build on in future reading.
Video Review by Louise (Biomedical Sciences)
The Human Brain by Susan Greenfield
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