"We are fortunate that Stanislas Dehaene, the leading authority on the neuroscience of language, is also a beautiful writer. His Reading in the Brain brings together the cognitive, the cultural, and the neurological in an elegant, compelling narrative. It is a revelatory work."
--Oliver Sacks, author of The man who mistook his wife for a hat
“In a moment when knowledge about the reading brain may be the key to its preservation, Stanislas Dehaene's book provides the next critical rung of that knowledge. He does this through insights gained from his own prolific research, through his comprehensive grasp of the neurosciences, and through his unique combination of common sense and wisdom that shines through every chapter.”
—Maryanne Wolf, author of “Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain”
“Stanislas Dehaene takes us on a journey into the science of reading. We travel past firing neurons in monkeys, brain activation patterns in humans, people with brain damage, and culture as a whole. It's a proactive and enjoyable synthesis of a tremendous amount of information, with just the right balance between getting the facts right and making them accessible to lay readers.”
—Joseph LeDoux, University Professsor NYU, author of Synaptic Self and The Emotional Brain.
“In this beautifully illustrated volume, Dehaene brilliantly synthesizes what is known about how the brain works when we read. In doing so he integrates cognitive neuroscience, cultural, evolutionary and neurpsychological investigations and illuminates the brain's amazing ability to adapt to the inventions of culture and technology.”
—Michael Posner, Professor Emeritus University of Oregon, Adjunct Professor Weill Medical College
“Reading in the Brain isn’t just about reading. It comes nearer than anything I have encountered to explaining how humans think, and does so with a simple elegance that can be grasped by scientists and nonscientists alike. Dehaene provides insight about the neurological underpinnings of the spectacular cognitive skills that characterize our species. Students of human evolution are not the only ones who will find Reading in the Brain fascinating. Parents, educators, and anyone else who nurtures the intellectual development of children cannot afford to ignore Dehaene’s observations about the best methods for teaching them to read!”
—Dean Falk, author of Finding our Tongues: Mothers, Infants, and the Origins of Language
“The complicated partnership of eye and mind that transforms printed symbols into sound, music, and meaning, and gives rise to thought, is the subject of this intriguing study. It’s a wondrous journey: like that of stout Cortez, like H.M. Stanley’s search for Dr. David Livingstone, like the next stunning probe into outer space.”
—Howard Engel, co-author of The Man Who Forgot How to Read
“The transparent and automatic feat of reading comprehension disguises an intricate biological effort, ably analyzed in this fascinating study.
Drawing on scads of brain-imaging studies, case histories of stroke victims and ingenious cognitive psychology experiments, cognitive neuroscientist Dehaene (The Number Sense) diagrams the neural machinery that translates marks on paper into language, sound and meaning. (...)
This lively, lucid treatise proves once again that Dehaene is one of our most gifted expositors of science; he makes the workings of the mind less mysterious, but no less miraculous.”
—Publishers Weekly, 8/17/2009
Dense with ideas and experiments, but richly rewarding for readers willing to put in the effort.