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Making the most of our brains.

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku. Doubleday. 2014. 377 pages. $28.95.

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku has not only been exploring some of the deepest mysteries of science over the years--he co-founded the string field theory of the universe and its alleged parallel multiverses--but he's also been breaking " these mysteries down to lay audiences worldwide as a professor, radio show host, and author. In The Future of the Mind, he tells readers of the latest scientific discoveries of the human brain and the startling impacts that those discoveries could have for life as we know it.

Kaku recaps brain science from the 1800s through the present and fills readers in on what we have learned about how the brain works and how our brains create our perceptions of reality. He also illuminates the progress that medicine has been making more recently in decoding brain chemistry to figure out how the very foundations of memory, dreams, and emotions form on the one hand, and mental disorders and addictions on the other.

This knowledge could lead us to new methods of boosting health by directly interfacing with--or altering, in some cases--brain processes. He shows, for example, how brain science might one day restore mobility to people suffering paralysis, eliminate mental illnesses and addictions, and boost individuals' intelligence to unprecedented new levels.

Even steeper challenges could later fall within our grasp: Kaku examines the prospects for implanting human-level intelligence in apes and dogs, creating truly "conscious" robots, and transferring our minds onto software for virtually enabled immortality. We might even communicate telepathically through brainto-brain interfaces, break free of our bodies altogether and live forever as humanoid machines, or, if we'd rather, roam the universe as free-floating entities of pure consciousness.

Kaku offers readers a stunning exercise in imagination that's grounded in hard scien Mind is a great find for all readers who take an interest in scientific discovery and its capacity to enhance human life.--RD

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Title Annotation:'The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind'
Author:Docksai, Rick
Publication:The Futurist
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2014
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