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ADAM ZEMAN is professor of cognitive and behavioral neurology, Peninsula Medical School, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Exeter, UK. He is the author of CONSCIOUSNESS: A User’s Guide (Yale University Press, 2003).

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A book which, like the brain itself, is artfully arranged… Zeman’s portrait of the brain is more even than a portrait of Man: it is a portrait of the world he perceives too – THE ECONOMIST


A fascinating tale... [Zeman] comes across as a lucid explainer of scientific complexity, but also as a humane practitioner. If I needed treatment from a neurologist, I would rather be referred to Zeman than the more ostentatiously brilliant Sacks – Clive Cookson, FINANCIAL TIMES

Every now and again, one encounters an author at perfect ease with their subject matter – think of Orwell on poverty, Hazlitt on boxing, or Darwin on his travels. Their writing seems effortless (although it seldom is), with pellucid prose elegantly evoking all that they seek to explain. On these occasions, it is apt to talk of masterpieces. A PORTRAIT OF THE BRAIN is such a book... A remarkable achievement... neurology has found a fine advocate – Talha Burki, LANCET

A fascinating and enjoyable book – Joseph LeDoux, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, New York University, author of THE EMOTIONAL BRAIN and THE SYNAPTIC SELF

A masterpiece. He has taken a wonderfully original approach to this, the most extraordinary object in the Universe. The wit, wisdom and encyclopaedic knowledge of an exceptional neurologist and neuroscientist is combined with the erudition of a man steeped in a multitude of cultures... The human brain is very lucky to have such a human being as its spokesman – Professor Raymond Tallis, author of THE KINGDOM OF INFINITE SPACE: A FANTASTICAL JOURNEY AROUND YOUR HEAD

Zeman brings his own voice and experience to a subject made famous by Oliver Sacks, and makes it his own – Rita Carter, author of MAPPING THE MIND and EXPLORING CONSCIOUSNESS

An elegant, step-by-step, state-of-the-art guide to the most important thing in the Universe – Professor John Carey, Emeritus Merton Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford,

A brilliant idea beautifully realised… Zeman is a fine, empathic writer, adept at conveying the human as well as the scientific dimensions of disease. It’s one of those rare books that just brims with generosity of spirit – Paul Broks, University of Plymouth, author of INTO THE SILENT LAND


In this compelling book, the neurologist Adam Zeman tells the stories of patients with a variety of neurological disorders, some familiar (epilepsy, chronic fatigue, stroke, memory loss) and others relatively mysterious (narcolepsy, chronic déj vu, compulsive fidgeting, Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease).

Chapter by chapter, he reveals the various levels of the brain, from the atom to the mind, and explores what happens when workings at each level go awry. He requires of his readers no special knowledge of medicine or science, yet he takes us to the very frontiers of current scientific knowledge and elucidates the workings of the brain in astonishing detail.

A PORTRAIT OF THE BRAIN weaves together fascinating case histories, clear accounts of concepts and discoveries in neuroscience, and an intimate view of the suspense, excitement, fun and angst that colour a neurologist’s days. Adam Zeman also considers what the brain’s behaviour and misbehaviour can tell us about the human self as physical system, living creature and conscious mind. In a final chapter he reflects on the place of the mind in nature.

On every page he both entertains and informs, and readers will find themselves pondering the enigmas of brain and mind long after closing the covers of this elegant and erudite volume – one of the best introductions to the brain and mind, by a unique author: a clinical psychologist with a background in both neuroscience and philosophy.

Publisher: Yale University Press (UK/US)
Pub date: 5 February 2007
Length: 246 pages

All rights available excluding:
World English Language (Yale University Press), Korea (Chiho), Spain (Ediciones de Intervición Cultural)