Friday, January 6, 2017

My starting point in neurosciences.

When I was a child, I remember receiving this book for my tenth birthday:

This book took ordinary objects, everything from sprinklers to cassette players (which were so technologically advanced at the time) and made them simple to understand. I remember being able to read this book for hours, and I would argue that more than half of that time was spent looking at the pictures over reading the text. Diagrams/illustrations help us so much when we are getting started in a new topic.

Another great example that I remember reading right after taking Physics 30 (grade 12 physics) was this book:

Now many parts of me really wanted to read it just because it had Carl Sagan's name on it, and i loved the original Cosmos series. Yet once I read this book, much of what made sense did so, as though the illustrations were not as abundant as in "The Way Things Work," there were still illustrations throughout to help me understand some of the more difficult topics.

I was in my second last semester of my education degree, and a professor asked me if I'd ever read this book. I told her I hadn't. She said it was a book that I might find interesting, and gave me a copy of the book. She said she felt from the project i did for our class, that she could sense a real interest in the world of neurosciences, and felt like this was a great place to start. Was she ever right; this book is the bridge that make entry into neurosciences be without a worry.

Neurosciences can seem like an intimidating field to step into out of pure interest. It can begin with such a broad range of terms that are hard to link with any prior knowledge; these factors can scare someone away. So what is the central theme in these last two books? Illustrations and examples to support what you are writing about. This brings me to what I would define as one of the books that can be a backbone to a person interested in beginning to learn about neurosciences:

This is not necessarily a book I would say that one reads from cover-to-cover, but more a book that one uses like an almanac when they have a bit of difficulty understanding a concept within neurosciences. It has illustrations to help understand difficult concepts in a similar way that the previous two books helped the reader understand via illustrations.

Steven Pinker is one that  I will revisit in this blog, as he has written some other outstanding work throughout his career.

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