Human Brain

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London.

In her book, "Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain," she explains precisely what is going on in the complex and fascinating brains of teenagers, namely that the brain goes on developing and changing right through adolescence with profound implications for the adults these young people will become.

In 1991, the police were called to East 72nd St. in Manhattan, where a woman's body had fallen from a twelfth-story window. The woman’s husband, Herbert Weinstein, soon confessed to having hit and strangled his wife after an argument, then dropping her body out of their apartment window to make it look like a suicide. The 65-year-old Weinstein, a quiet, unassuming retired advertising executive, had no criminal record, no history of violent behavior—not even a short temper. How, then, to explain this horrific act?
 
Journalist Kevin Davis uses the perplexing story of the Weinstein murder to present a riveting, deeply researched exploration of the intersection of neuroscience and criminal justice. Shortly after Weinstein was arrested, an MRI revealed a cyst the size of an orange on his brain’s frontal lobe, the part of the brain that governs judgment and impulse control. Weinstein’s lawyer seized on that discovery, arguing that the cyst had impaired Weinstein’s judgment and that he should not be held criminally responsible for the murder. It was the first case in the United States in which a judge allowed a scan showing a defendant’s brain activity to be admitted as evidence to support a claim of innocence.

Kevin Davis' new book is The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America's Courtrooms.

  Of the ten million bits of information our brains process each second, only fifty bits are devoted to conscious thought. Because our brains are wired to be inattentive, we often choose without thinking, acting against our own interests—what we truly want.

 As the former Chief Scientist of Express Scripts, a Fortune 25 healthcare company dedicated to making the use of prescription medications safer and more affordable, Bob Nease is an expert on applying behavioral sciences to health care. Now, he applies his knowledge to the wider world, providing important practical solutions marketers, human resources professionals, teachers, and even parents can use to improve the behavior of others around them, and get the positive results they want.

His new book is The Power of Fifty Bits: The New Science of Turning Good Intentions into Positive Results.

Breakthroughs in how we understand the human brain's structure and internal communication networks are helping scientists track neurological changes over time.

Dr. Nathan Spreng, assistant professor at Cornell University's Department of Human Development, is using advancement in neuroimaging to better understand how the brain functions and changes as we age.