Title: Mind Wide Open
Author: Steven Johnson
Brilliantly exploring today’s cutting edge brain research, Mind Wide Open allows readers to understand themselves and the people in their lives as never before. Using a mix of experiential reportage, personal storytelling, and fresh scientific discovery, Steven Johnson describes how the brain works and how its systems connect to the day-to-day realities of individual lives.
Johnson embarks on this path as his own test subject, participating in a battery of tests and experiments in search of a modern answer to the oldest of questions: who am I? He explores how we “read” other people, how the brain processes frightening events, what the neurochemistry is behind love and sex, how our brain teems with powerful chemicals closely related to recreational drugs, why music moves us to tears, and where our breakthrough ideas come from.
Johnson suggests that learning about the brain’s mechanics can widen one’s self-awareness as powerfully as any therapy, meditation or drug. To read Mind Wide Open is to rethink family histories, individual fates, and the very nature of the self.
My Thoughts: Kinda got lost in this one. Between the word Modernity and Self, I wasn’t sure what the central thesis was leading me.