New book illuminates individual differences in brain function
Most of us understand, on some level, that our unique ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving are related to the mechanics of our individual brains. Yet the majority of neuroscience research has focused on group averages—a way of sketching “typical” patterns of brain functioning. Professor Chantel Prat argues that this approach has moved the field forward in the areas where people don’t vary as much, like sensorimotor processing, but has prevented us from fulling understanding how differences in brain functioning shape the way we each understand the world. For example, though almost every textbook will tell you that language is a left-hemisphere function, Prat’s research has shown that there is dramatic variability in the extent to which the right hemisphere contributes critically to language, and that this variability drives the way people make inferences or understand the “big picture” when reading.
In her debut trade book, The Neuroscience of You, Prat describes some of the fundamental differences in brain design, from laterality to neurochemistry, and how they can scale up to produce differences in the way people come to understand the world and operate in it. Complete with take-at-home quizzes, Prat helps the reader to better understand what their individual quirks might tell them about how their own brains work.