I just finished reading Sandra Blakeslee’s The Body Has a Mind of its Own. It was a great gateway book into the area of cognitive science. It touches on everything it seems, from phantom limb syndrome and proprioception to mirror neurons and epilepsy. It also turned out to be a great complimentary read to our studio class which is also currently focused on cognitive science.
My only issue with the book is that it seemed to lack depth. While there were explanations or analogies for all the odd issues she highlights; there was not much technical breakdown. I understand that is what makes the book so approachable, and why it turned out to be a great gateway book, as I said earlier. However, often, I was left wanting a little more.
This detail aside it was an excellent read that illuminated a lot of points about some very interesting topics. One example of this is how our brain uses all of our senses to map our bodies. Which means that if sensory input doesn’t match up with the current map of our body, a new body map is created to make it match. This ability has been exploited in a number of ways including mirror box therapy, which tricks the mind into thinking a bad limb is fine just by using mirrors. An interesting treatment to say the least.