“Latest news from the brain”, “Matheuses”, “Pythéas”…


There is something for every taste. The journalists of the weekly supplement Science & medicine have read and chosen for you books which will help you discover the story of a Greek scholar… about whom we don’t know much, or that of a fish to whom we have attributed far too many powers, through this history of France revealed by excavations.

The little music of the brain

Clinical neurologist and neuroscientist, Paolo Bartolomeo becomes a fascinating narrator when he addresses current issues on the functioning of the brain while explaining basic concepts. From the question “What is the brain for?” » to the presentation on brain connectivity, including the effects of music, bilingualism, its Latest brain news ensure that scientific information can be both transmitted and told.

From the outset, the author recalls that this small organ representing 2% of a human’s body m consumes 20% of the body’s energy, “whether you struggle to prove a theorem or let your mind wander”. Likewise, a look back at the history of evolution reveals that “Humans’ large brains effectively replaced the thick fur of other mammals”.

Throughout the pages, scholarly and didactic insights abound, such as the example of a tennis player’s anticipation of the trajectory of a ball, which makes clear the demonstration that one of the main roles of the brain is to predict the future. Thanks to this “predictive coding”, details Paolo Bartolomeo, the brain built “constantly models our external reality and its future evolution”. It calculates the “prediction errors” and the “exploits in order to update its models and develop new, more reliable scenarios”. So, “we would act in the world while experiencing it”.

Research director at Inserm and the Brain Institute, alongside Laurent Cohen and Lionel Naccache, the author is a specialist in attention disorders following brain lesions. Furthermore, an experienced pianist and music lover, he studies the effects of music, this art ” different from the others “. A captivating chapter explains the dialogue that develops between the acoustic areas of the temporal lobe and the frontal cortex. Incidentally, the researcher likes to describe a phenomenon of automatic response to music, the groove, dear to the Anglo-Saxons. It is “related to the activity of brain circuits important for movement and reward processing” – the latter including “ the nucleus accumbens, involved in drug dependence ».

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