The Made-to-Order Brain
The author of the highly acclaimed Voyage extraordinaire au centre du cerveau (more than 30.000 copies sold), Jean-Didier Vincent first reached a wide readership with Biologie des passions (The Biology of Emotions, Blackwell), a classic. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences, of the Institute and of the Academy of Medicine, and a professor at the University of Paris-Sud-Orsay and in the Faculty of Medicine Paris-Sud-Kremlin-Bicêtre.
Pierre-Marie Lledo is a research director specialising in neuronal stem cells at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). He was the recipient of a CNRS bronze medal and of the 2006 Prize of the French Academy of Sciences.
It was long held that once childhood was over the brain stopped developing. But this is a fallacy. The brain is not only the product of genetic activity it is also shaped by constant modifications linked to our personal history: the broad outlines may remain unchanged but our specific cerebral organisation keeps changing throughout our lives. This finding has opened vast new possibilities.
Research is now being carried out to find out how improved control of brain plasticity could be used to enable functional recuperation in patients suffering from neurological disorders.
Brain plasticity is also at the origin of a number of new technologies that have given rise to cognitive training programmes, psycho-stimulants or other “intelligent” molecules that aim to optimise the brain.
• The goal is no longer simply to understand the brain but to learn how to repair, modify and improve it.
• Jean-Didier Vincent is recognised as a major scientist whose books reach a wide readership.
• He explains the bases of regenerative brain medicine and how we can all benefit from it today.
Voyage extraordinaire au centre du cerveau has been sold in Italy (Ponte Alle Grazie), Spain (Anagrama), Portugal (Texto), Brazil (Rocco) and Korea (Bookhouse).