The Bard on the Brain
- By: Helen Barratt
One of the most important legacies of the Enlightenment-the revolution in thinking in 18th century Europe-was the division between science and the arts. The Bard on the Brain is one of many books that seek to bridge this gap with the arts, making new discoveries accessible to the lay reader. Neuroscientist Paul Matthews and author Jeffrey McQuain bring together the art of Shakespeare and the science of brain imaging. Modern techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography provide us with a window on the workings of the brain. More than 400 years ago, Shakespeare was writing with amazing insight into the human mind; his characters experience the extremes of emotion and he tackled conditions we still face today such as dementia (King Lear) and epilepsy (Julius Caesar). The authors explore the parallels they perceive between Shakespeare's writings and neuroscience today.
Matthews and McQuain take a broad