Most of what has been learned about how the brain mediates behavior comes from experiments of nature where a stroke or other damage to the brain produces changes in a person's behavior. In Matter of Mind, one of the leading figures in behavioral and cognitive neurology uses patient vignettes and other examples from his rich professional life to show just how much knowledge about brain functions such as reading, writing, language, control of emotions, skilled movement, perception, attention, and motivation has been gained from the study of patients with diseases of or damage to the brain. No knowledge of neurology or neuroscience is required to understand the book, which is intended for neurological patients and their families. It will also be of interest to professionals who study the brain or treat patients with brain damage including neuropsychologists, neurologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, physiatrists, speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, and their students and trainees.
Reviewer:MaryLouise Tomyanovich, MD(University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description:This is a relatively easy to read and understand book that effectively explains a wide variety of neurological disorders.
Purpose:Basically, the author sheds light on various brain disorders, thoroughly explaining their symptoms and etiologies from a neurologist's standpoint.
Audience:The audience appeal for this book is broad. Although it is easy enough for a student or someone interested in the subject to comprehend, it does not seem "dumbed down" or superficial.
Features:As a reader relatively inexperienced in the field, I found the book to be very informative. Various diagrams and real patient stories in each section enhanced my undertanding and prevented the book from becoming dull.
Assessment:As a member of the lay audience, I found this a very approachable book. The author effectively explains a wide variety of neurological disorders and the book reads smoothly and keeps the reader engaged. (Reviewed by M. C. Masters.) (Comments by MaryLouise Tomyanovich, MD -- This review was written by a high school student. From a neurologist's perspective, the book contains well integrated, current, clinically relevant information about higher cortical function. The schematic diagrams with their corresponding legends are particularly useful teaching tools for trainees. I applaud the author for presenting complex subjects including language, emotion, attention, self-awareness, memory, cognitive motor skills, sensory perception and recognition, conation, and intention understandable to a lay reader, albeit an exceptionally bright high school student.)