Brainiac book club week 8 - Carl Schoonover


Carl Schoonover is a great example of how a person can very seamlessly and effectively weave art and science into their daily life. As a neuroscientist at Columbia University, he has expert knowledge of the microanatomy and electrophysiology of the rodent somatosensory cortex; as a science writer he knows how to engage wide audiences in science stories through creative tactics; as a music head and radio fan like us, he hosts his own show on WKCR 89.9 FM which explores opera, classical music and their function in the brain. Quite an inspiring combination. He's also a 2012 TED Fellow to boot. 

Schoonover joined us this week for a conversation on the brainiac book club about some of the topics you'll find in his recent book Portraits of the Mind. It reads more like an informative coffee table book than a dense neuroscience tome. It tours the reader through the history of visualization techniques humans have invented over centuries to peek inside our skulls and behold the brain. From medieval dissections to genetically modified staining techniques and magnetic imaging machines, Portraits of the Mind not only teaches us about the inner art of the brain and tools through which we've assessed it, but provides a panoply of beautiful images that show this legacy. 

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