In this no.1 Dutch bestseller, renowned neuroscientist Dick Swaab presents a biography of the human brain, from infancy to adulthood to old age, revealing how our most mysterious organ predetermines nearly everything about us. Drawing on a half century of his own groundbreaking research, Swaab shows that everything we think, do, and refrain from doing is determined by our brain. In other words, we don't just have brains; we are our brains.
Swaab takes us on a guided tour of the intricate inner workings that determine our potential, our limitations, our desires and our characters, providing a vivid cross-section of what makes us human. Each chapter serves as an eye-opening window on a different brain stage: the gender differences that develop in the embryonic brain; what goes on in the heads of adolescents; how parenthood permanently changes the brain; the breakdown that leads to Alzheimer's and other conditions.
Drawing on extraordinary case studies and memorable historical examples, Swaab shows how everything from our moral character to our religious leanings to our sexual orientation is present in our neuronal circuits before we are born. And he challenges many of our prevailing assumptions about what makes us human, revealing, for example, how the maternal instinct is actually the result of hormonal changes during pregnancy. Many of Swaab's conclusions were once controversial given their bold implications, but are now broadly accepted in the neuroscience community.
Provocative, opinionated and utterly convincing, We Are Our Brains allows us to see who we are through an entirely new lens.