Skip to main content

Discovering the Brain

View Cover

Purchase Options
Purchase Options MyNAP members save 10% online. Login or Register



The brain ...

There is no other part of the human anatomy that is so intriguing. How does it develop and function and why does it sometimes, tragically, degenerate?

The answers are complex. In Discovering the Brain, science writer Sandra Ackerman cuts through the complexity to bring this vital topic to the public.

The 1990s were declared the "Decade of the Brain" by former President Bush, and the neuroscience community responded with a host of new investigations and conferences. Discovering the Brain is based on the Institute of Medicine conference, Decade of the Brain: Frontiers in Neuroscience and Brain Research.

Discovering the Brain is a "field guide" to the brain—an easy-to-read discussion of the brain's physical structure and where functions such as language and music appreciation lie. Ackerman examines:

  • How electrical and chemical signals are conveyed in the brain.
  • The mechanisms by which we see, hear, think, and pay attention—and how a "gut feeling" actually originates in the brain.
  • Learning and memory retention, including parallels to computer memory and what they might tell us about our own mental capacity.
  • Development of the brain throughout the life span, with a look at the aging brain.

Ackerman provides an enlightening chapter on the connection between the brain's physical condition and various mental disorders and notes what progress can realistically be made toward the prevention and treatment of stroke and other ailments.

Finally, she explores the potential for major advances during the "Decade of the Brain," with a look at medical imaging techniques—what various technologies can and cannot tell us—and how the public and private sectors can contribute to continued advances in neuroscience.

This highly readable volume will provide the public and policymakers—and many scientists as well—with a helpful guide to understanding the many discoveries that are sure to be announced throughout the "Decade of the Brain."


Suggested Citation

Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences. 1992. Discovering the Brain. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

194 pages |6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-309-46799-5

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press and the Transportation Research Board have partnered with Copyright Clearance Center to offer a variety of options for reusing our content. You may request permission to:

  • Republish or display in another publication, presentation, or other media
  • Use in print or electronic course materials and dissertations
  • Share electronically via secure intranet or extranet
  • And more

For most Academic and Educational uses no royalties will be charged although you are required to obtain a license and comply with the license terms and conditions.

Click here to obtain permission forDiscovering the Brain.

Translation and Other Rights

For information on how to request permission to translate our work and for any other rights related query please click here. Customer Service

For questions about using the service, please contact:

Copyright Clearance Center
22 Rosewood Drive
Danvers, MA 01923
Tel (toll free): 855/239-3415 (select option 1)

Loading stats for Discovering the Brain...