Jean-Didier Vincent

An Extraordinary Voyage to the Centre of the Brain Publication date : October 8, 2009

“Wouldn't it be unreasonable to refuse to learn about the workings of the very thing that enables us to learn? It would be like going to Egypt without visiting the pyramids, or to Rome without seeing the Coliseum. Thoughts such as these led me to imagine the present voyage inside the brain.

“Let us then begin our journey through the brain, the capital and seat of government with its numerous institutions, councils and courts that enable the human body to function. We will visit the famous places where language holds sway, some fashionable spots like the hypothalamus with its pleasure centres, and the abode of memory. We will go to the places where we satisfy such basic needs as eating, drinking and sleeping — and to other less avowable locations. We will try to explore some secret passages.“The subject of this guided tour is your own brain, which though unique is like all other brains. Knowing it better means knowing yourself better. But we mustn't forget that a brain that is ill can be treated and often healed. The vocation of this book is also to help relieve suffering,” writes Jean-Didier Vincent.

The brain is our identity: our memory, sensations, feelings, drives and ideas. In this book, Jean-Didier Vincent, the French neurobiologist who has furthered our understanding of what makes humans such passionate, desiring and suffering creatures, takes us on a guided tour deep inside ourselves.How are moods, desires, memories and ideas formed? How can they be developed? What can be done to prevent the ravages of time?A fascinating journey that is not to be missed!

Jean-Didier Vincent is notably the author of Biologie des passions (1986) and La Chair et le Diable (1996). He is a professor at the Institut Universitaire de France and at the Faculty of Medicine Paris-Sud. A member of the French Academy of Sciences, he was formerly the director of the Alfred Fessard Institute of Neurobiology, at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).

His works include La Vie est une fable (1998), Casanova, la contagion du plaisir (1990), Celui qui parlait presque (1993), Pour une nouvelle physiologie du goût (2000) and Désir et Mélancolie (2006).