Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Neuroscience is coming

Well, I was out of this world for a couple months, but now I am back :) And my current report will be not about bioinformatics, but about neuroscience.

Not so long ago I started reading neuropsychology books. The first book I read was called "The Man Who Mistook His Wife" by Oliver Sacks. I enjoyed this book from the beginning till the end. It is really amazing. The book describes some negative events which might happen to the brain because of a certain disease. There are four parts in this book: "Losses", "Excesses", "Transports" and "The World of the Simple". Each part focuses on a certain type of a brain damaging event.

I am not going to explain this in detail, but will just give some examples:

- A man loses an ability to memorize anything. When he is 40 years old, he still thinks that he is 20. He can not memorize anyone or anything, but still happy about his life.

- A young woman loses an ability to use her body, even to move or to walk (so called proprioception). But she manages to restore herself using other parts of the brain.

- Old ladies hear in their brains music from their young years. When the music plays, they can not hear anything else.

These are just three examples but there are much more amazing stories. I really recommend to read this book. Moreover, Oliver Sacks wrote more than ten books. Some of them were even used to create a movie. For example, a film called "Awakenings" with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams is really incredible in my opinion.

Also Oliver Sacks in his books always refers to other great neuroscientists. I didn't even know previously that one of the famous neuropsychologists was from Soviet Union. His name is Alexander Luria. I also read some of his books, and I totally recommend one that is called "The Man with a Shattered World: The History of a Brain Wound". This is a story about a Russian who was wounded during WWII. A bullet stuck in his brain, but he managed to survive and improve himself. I really recommend this book too.

There are other neuroscience authors, perhaps I will write again on this topic after reading their books.

And the last notice: one of the developing sciences is called neuroinformatics. Maybe soon it will become even more crucial than bioinformatics :)

P.S.: Thanks a lot to neuropsychologists whom I met and to Arakdy Urkop for recommending me the book.


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