Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday File


Book and Blog Recommendations

Books

A decade ago, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain researcher at Harvard Medical School and a national spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Bank, suffered a massive stroke at the age of 37. Unable to walk, talk, read, or write, Dr. Taylor underwent an 8-year recovery and narrates the story of her recovery in her book , My Stroke of Insight.

The book’s jacket copy explains: “As the damaged left side of her brain—the rational, grounded, detail-and-time oriented side—swung in and out of function, Taylor alternated between two distinct and opposite realities: the euphoric nirvana of the intuitive and kinesthetic right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace, and the logical, sequential left brain, which recognized Jill was having a stroke and enabled her to seek help before she was lost completely. “

As reporter Robert Koehler writes: “This book is about the wonder of being human and as such is a plea and a prayer that we strive to be equal to how big we really are. What a piece of work is man — 50 trillion cells functioning in purposeful harmony.”

Stroke patients, victims of brain injuries, medical practitioners, and the general reading public will find invaluable insights and recommendations in this book.

Blogs

The mission of Corpus Callosum, a science blog maintained by an anonymous psychiatrist who works at a community hospital, is “to develop connections between hard science and social science, using linear thinking and intuition; and to explore the relative merits of spontaneity vs. strategy.” The blog intelligently covers a broad range of general-interest topics, including social commentary, neuroscience, politics, and science news.

Corpus Callosum also regularly features excellent graphics and photographs, and is written in a reasoned, straightforward and easy-to-digest style. As a bonus, the site features a deep and high-quality blogroll.

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