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A History of the Human Brain

From the Sea Sponge to CRISPR, How Our Brain Evolved

By Bret Stetka

Narrator Sean Pratt

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

In A History of the Human Brain, Bret Stetka takes listeners through that far-reaching journey, showing exactly when and how the human brain evolved to shape who we are today. 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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Meet the Author And Narrator
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Bret Stetka

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Review quotes
A History of the Human Brain is a unique, enlightening, and provocative account of the most significant question we can ask about ourselves.” —Richard Wrangham, author of The Goodness Paradox
“One of the most lucid, clear-eyed, and talented science writers of our time—Bret Stetka—now turns his attention to the evolution of the human brain, taking us on a captivating journey from its origins to the present, enhancing our understanding of how this phenomenal organ and its 100 billion neurons work.” —Eric Topol, MD, author of Deep Medicine
“Clear, evidence based and engrossing. What we know about how the human brain works could fit on a figurative pinhead. But if you want to understand what we know about its evolution, this book is a terrific resource.” —Felice Jacka, PhD, director of the Food Mood Centre, Deakin University, Australia
“There are lots of ideas out there about consciousness and the human brain—the untidy product of millions of years of evolution. Bret Stetka comes as close as you could hope to making sense of them in this entertaining and wide-ranging book.” —Ian Tattersall, curator emeritus, Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History

“Crack open this book and take a read. You will be transported, illuminated, and delighted.” —Psychology Today

“Science journalist Bret Stetka takes the reader on a roller coaster ride up the evolutionary trail from the sponge to modern man.” —The San Francisco Book Review

“A readable and engaging history of how our most mysterious organ developed over time… from the brain’s improbable and watery beginnings to the super-complex marvel that’s found within the head of Homo sapiens today.” —The Genetic Literacy Project
Product Details
7h 54m 00s
Publication date
March 16, 2021