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A History of the Human Brain

From the Sea Sponge to CRISPR, How Our Brain Evolved

By Bret Stetka

Just over 125,000 years ago, humanity was going extinct until a dramatic shift occurred—Homo sapiens started tracking the tides and eating the nearby oysters. Before long, they’d pulled themselves back from the brink of extinction. What saved them? The human brain, and its evolutionary journey is unlike anything else in history.

In A History of the Human Brain, neuroscientist and science writer Bret Stetka takes us through that far-reaching journey, revealing when and how the human brain evolved to shape who we are today. Neuroscientific history reveals more than just how we got here—by examining the moments when our brain differentiated itself from those of our competitors, we can begin to piece together an answer for what it truly means to be human. A History of the HumanBrain also tackles the question of where the brain will take us next, exploring the burgeoning con­cepts of epigenetics and new technologies like CRISPR.

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Bret Stetka

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March 16, 2021