Brain Power

Brain Power

Scientific AmericanZola’s new Book Recommendations feature has kept the staff busy thinking of great reads to suggest to our visitors. But when a reader came looking for a book on neuroscience, we knew there was no one better to ask than Gary Stix, a senior editor at Scientific American. Here are his top five suggestions for what to read when you’ve got your brain on the brain.


The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us From Other Animals
Thomas Suddendorf
Research on why we have an ability to intuit what others think in a more profound way than other species is what makes this book fascinating.


Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
Matthew D. Lieberman
The finding that our brains react to social pain and pleasure in the way they do to physical pleasure is a central insight of psychologists in recent years, and is portrayed here.


Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them
Joshua Greene
Conflicts of moral reasoning, the central theme of this book, motivate everything from warfare to partisan conflicts over Obamacare—the tie to the way our brain processes these tensions is expertly detailed in this book.


The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum
Temple Grandin and Richard Panek
The personal perspective of someone with autism is a valuable addition to the growing literature in this area of study that encompasses both neurology and psychology.


How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
Gregory Bems
People love dogs and this volume is a welcome addition to the recent set of books that try to gain an understanding of a best friend’s brain. Putting a dog in an MRI machine.

 

This article originally appeared on Zola Books.