(A Los Angeles Times Best Nonfiction Book of 2007) Science is not the only path to knowledge, asserts Jonah Lehrer in his nonfiction debut. Indeed, as he discovered while working for Nobel Prize–winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel and also reading Marcel Proust's explorations of memory in Swann's Way, when it comes to understanding the brain, art often gets there first. Proust first revealed the fallibility of memory; George Eliot understood the brain's malleability; French chef Escoffier intuited umami (the fifth, savory taste); Paul Cézanne worked out subtleties of vision; and Gertrude Stein exposed the deep structure of language. Lehrer shows how these and other creative thinkers discovered essential truths about the mind that neuroscience is only now rediscovering.
"[The book] marks the arrival of an important new thinker, who finds in the science and the arts wonder and beauty, and with equal confidence says wise and fresh things about both."—LATBR