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Download Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Connectome: How the Brains Wiring Makes Us Who We Are Audiobook, by Sebastian Seung Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (271 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sebastian Seung Narrator: MacLeod Andrews Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9781455869589
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We know that each of us is unique, but science has struggled to pinpoint where, precisely, our uniqueness resides. Is it in our genes? The structure of our brains? Our genome may determine our eye color and even aspects of our personality. But our friendships, failures, and passions also shape who we are. The question is: how?

Sebastian Seung, a dynamic professor at MIT, is on a quest to discover the biological basis of identity. He believes it lies in the pattern of connections between the brain’s neurons, which change slowly over time as we learn and grow. The connectome, as it’s called, is where our genetic inheritance intersects with our life experience. It’s where nature meets nurture.

Seung introduces us to the dedicated researchers who are mapping the brain’s connections, neuron by neuron, synapse by synapse. It is a monumental undertaking—the scientific equivalent of climbing Mount Everest—but if they succeed, it could reveal the basis of personality, intelligence, memory, and perhaps even mental disorders. Many scientists speculate that people with anorexia, autism, and schizophrenia are “wired differently,” but nobody knows for sure. The brain’s wiring has never been seen clearly.

In sparklingly clear prose, Seung reveals the amazing technological advances that will soon help us map connectomes. He also examines the evidence that these maps will someday allow humans to “upload” their minds into computers, achieving a kind of immortality.

Connectome is a mind-bending adventure story, told with great passion and authority. It presents a daring scientific and technological vision for at last understanding what makes us who we are. Welcome to the future of neuroscience.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phillip Carman | 2/12/2014

    " Well written and clear exposition of recent developments in neuroscience research. Good nuts and bolts explanations of the neural networks. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 1/25/2014

    " For a long time I have thought that I wanted to be cremated upon my death. This book (Connectome) has caused me to reconsider that decision. Consider the following quote from the book: "Humankind's ability to control matter will become so sophisticated that it will eventually be possible to "reanimate" dead bodies." The author does not say how soon you have to get to a dead body to reanimate it. I think you would have to get to it fairly quickly before decay sets in. Elsewhere in the book the author writes, "Given enough time, humankind might attain immortality." I would like to be around when that day comes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathie | 1/20/2014

    " Very intereesting brain theory read. Must admit I skimmed some of the technical parts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul McNeil | 1/13/2014

    " I've been reading a lot of books on the brain and psychology, and compared to those, this one is more about the brain itself- its structure, its neurons, and, above all, its connections. The idea of a connectome- pronounced "connect-tome"- is that technology is reaching the point where we will be able to map out all the connections in the brain, which will help us understand thought, memory, mental disorders, and so on. The book includes historical background, an assessment of the present state of connectomics and nueroscience (including a lot of places where technology needs to advance before more can be known), and ends with a look at some of the possibilities of the very distant future (think cryonics and uploading of consciousness) and the reasons such things are possible but perhaps unlikely. Recommended for those who are interested in the mechanisms behind the brain and in the future of neuroscience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taylor Ellwood | 1/10/2014

    " The back cover hype for this book paints a picture that isn't entirely accurate. The author of this book doesn't reveal anything new, beyond a made up term that he's used to obsfucate what he's writing about. In reading this book, I haven't gotten anything about what the author has contributed or provided. Everything I've read can be found in other books on neuroscience, presented by authors who don't feel the need to blow their own horns so much. It is an interesting book, and useful to read if you want to learn more about neuroscience. I just wish the book actually lived up to the hype of the back cover. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lena | 12/12/2013

    " Very enjoyable, got me thinking about future possibilities a lot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shauna Durbin | 11/16/2013

    " This book was very informative. I liked that it was written in a way the layman could understand. This was a very good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chuk | 10/1/2013

    " A good intro to neuroscience. Kind of light on details and gets a bit preachy about Transhumanism near the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lex | 7/4/2013

    " I really loved the neuroscience in this book. The author speculates quite a bit, and talks mostly about his own research goals, but there was still plenty of meat. Ultimately this book just served as a prelude to the book I've been looking forward to for years: "On Intelligence". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Go.gentle | 4/20/2013

    " Picked this up after hearing Prof Seung give a talk at the MoS. He writes just like he speaks, which works great in a talk and less great in a book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bryan | 1/8/2013

    " Good book. I came in not knowing much at all about the brain, so I found the material new and exciting. His writing is lucid and has explanations suitable for the general reader. Recommended for anyone who wants to understand more about the brain and the new connectome branch of research "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amazon Wong | 11/22/2012

    " It's good book for general public about the current field of neuroscience and brain research. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jerram | 6/15/2012

    " So far haven't read anything new in the beginning of this book. Mostly a history lesson in brain science. Hoping the later chapters focus more on the connectome. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nathan | 4/9/2012

    " At times I found the book very informative and at others I felt as if the author was going on simply to have words on the paper of some unfinished thoughts. It did reboot my knowledge of the brain, and provide much new information. "

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About the Narrator

MacLeod Andrews is an actor, voice actor, and audiobook narrator. He has narrated dozens of audiobooks, earning eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and placing as a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015. He is a company member of Rising Phoenix Repertory in Los Angeles.