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What if science fiction stopped being fiction? Developments in neuroscience are turning sci-fi scenarios into reality, and causing us to revisit some of the philosophical questions we have been asking ourselves for centuries. Science fiction often takes its inspiration from the latest science . . . and our oldest questions. After all, the two are inextricably linked. At a t What if science fiction stopped being fiction? Developments in neuroscience are turning sci-fi scenarios into reality, and causing us to revisit some of the philosophical questions we have been asking ourselves for centuries. Science fiction often takes its inspiration from the latest science . . . and our oldest questions. After all, the two are inextricably linked. At a time when advances in artificial intelligence are genuinely leading us closer to a computer that thinks like a human, we can’t help but wonder: What makes a person a person? Countless writers and filmmakers have created futuristic scenarios to explore this issue and others like it. But these scenarios may not be so futuristic after all. In the movie Inception, a group of conspirators implants false memories; in Until the End of the World, a mad scientist is able to read dreams; in 2001: A Space Odyssey, a supercomputer feels and thinks like a person. And in recent years, the achievements described in leading scientific journals have included some that might sound familiar: implanting memories using optogenetics, reading the mind during sleep thanks to advanced decoding algorithms, and creating a computer that uses deep neural networks to surpass the abilities of human thought. In NeuroScience Fiction, neuroscientist and author Rodrigo Quiroga reveals the futuristic present we are living in, showing how the far-out premises of 10 seminal science fiction movies are being made possible by discoveries happening right now, on the cutting edge of neuroscience. He also explores the thorny philosophical problems raised as a result, diving into Minority Report and free will, The Matrix and the illusion of reality, Blade Runner and android emotion, and more. A heady mix of science fiction, neuroscience, and philosophy, NeuroScience Fiction takes us from Vanilla Sky to neural research labs, and from Planet of the Apes to what makes us human. This is a book you’ll be thinking about long after the last page—and once you’ve read it, you’ll never watch a sci-fi blockbuster the same way again.


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What if science fiction stopped being fiction? Developments in neuroscience are turning sci-fi scenarios into reality, and causing us to revisit some of the philosophical questions we have been asking ourselves for centuries. Science fiction often takes its inspiration from the latest science . . . and our oldest questions. After all, the two are inextricably linked. At a t What if science fiction stopped being fiction? Developments in neuroscience are turning sci-fi scenarios into reality, and causing us to revisit some of the philosophical questions we have been asking ourselves for centuries. Science fiction often takes its inspiration from the latest science . . . and our oldest questions. After all, the two are inextricably linked. At a time when advances in artificial intelligence are genuinely leading us closer to a computer that thinks like a human, we can’t help but wonder: What makes a person a person? Countless writers and filmmakers have created futuristic scenarios to explore this issue and others like it. But these scenarios may not be so futuristic after all. In the movie Inception, a group of conspirators implants false memories; in Until the End of the World, a mad scientist is able to read dreams; in 2001: A Space Odyssey, a supercomputer feels and thinks like a person. And in recent years, the achievements described in leading scientific journals have included some that might sound familiar: implanting memories using optogenetics, reading the mind during sleep thanks to advanced decoding algorithms, and creating a computer that uses deep neural networks to surpass the abilities of human thought. In NeuroScience Fiction, neuroscientist and author Rodrigo Quiroga reveals the futuristic present we are living in, showing how the far-out premises of 10 seminal science fiction movies are being made possible by discoveries happening right now, on the cutting edge of neuroscience. He also explores the thorny philosophical problems raised as a result, diving into Minority Report and free will, The Matrix and the illusion of reality, Blade Runner and android emotion, and more. A heady mix of science fiction, neuroscience, and philosophy, NeuroScience Fiction takes us from Vanilla Sky to neural research labs, and from Planet of the Apes to what makes us human. This is a book you’ll be thinking about long after the last page—and once you’ve read it, you’ll never watch a sci-fi blockbuster the same way again.

50 review for NeuroScience Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Yannick Roy

    Such a great book for a neurotech enthusiast. Rooted both in science and culture, explaining the neuroscience concepts of some sci-fi blockbusters (e.g. Matrix, Inception, Minority Report, etc.) giving concrete examples with modern neuroscience. Most books are either one or the other (scientific or fiction) but here, Rodrigo brings us on a journey combining both in a beautifully written book. The author clearly knows his science. (he's a big name in the field, so yes he does ;)) Don't judge a book Such a great book for a neurotech enthusiast. Rooted both in science and culture, explaining the neuroscience concepts of some sci-fi blockbusters (e.g. Matrix, Inception, Minority Report, etc.) giving concrete examples with modern neuroscience. Most books are either one or the other (scientific or fiction) but here, Rodrigo brings us on a journey combining both in a beautifully written book. The author clearly knows his science. (he's a big name in the field, so yes he does ;)) Don't judge a book by the cover. I didn't expect much and wow was I nicely surprised.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John_g

    This is a comprehensive and accessible survey of issues about consciousness. He cleverly uses pop culture and famous history to make the science entertaining. His theme is to “tackle the greatest philosophical challenges” and explain them using science, pop culture, and by quoting philosophers. “These days, we know that the mind is not a separate entity from the brain.” This politely refutes Rene Descartes' simpler views, whom he debunks but too often. The author has written a survey which refer This is a comprehensive and accessible survey of issues about consciousness. He cleverly uses pop culture and famous history to make the science entertaining. His theme is to “tackle the greatest philosophical challenges” and explain them using science, pop culture, and by quoting philosophers. “These days, we know that the mind is not a separate entity from the brain.” This politely refutes Rene Descartes' simpler views, whom he debunks but too often. The author has written a survey which references everyone, followed by his helpful recaps. He treats each issue as “not just a philosophical problem but quite a real-life situation” while he cites famous experiments, philosophers, novels and movies to help explain the science. His story often adds anecdotes as detours, some more interesting than others. Discovery of short-term vs long-term memory was interesting. Also story of goddess Mnemosyne, the mother of the nine muses, is fun if only to show the ancient Greeks were interested in the mind. Some of the topics suffer a shallow treatment by attempting to reference too many knowledge areas. There is a weak finish with the essay on Immortality loaded in philosophy. Those particular movie references don't help: Vanilla Sky didn't make sense, while the unfamiliar Argentine story needs to be explained. Overall this was entertaining to read and helpful in understanding consciousness.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mer

    Many scientists are inspired by sci-fi, it's fascinating to study imagination with imagination, through the mind. Nothing is more circular than studying neuroscience. Many scientists are inspired by sci-fi, it's fascinating to study imagination with imagination, through the mind. Nothing is more circular than studying neuroscience.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marco

    Absolutely loved and devoured it. Fantastic mix of neuroscience, philosophy, history and science fiction. With loads of inspirations for further readings in all these fields.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Miguel Veliz

    Gran trabajo de análisis de las películas de culto y su relación con los trabajos de investigación científica

  6. 4 out of 5

    Manuel

    Muy buen y entretenido libro. Mezcla interesante de ciencia ficción, datos científicos y filosofía.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Magali Lopez

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alexander

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  11. 4 out of 5

    katia de lasteyrie

  12. 4 out of 5

    Simon Oxen

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fabio

  14. 4 out of 5

    John Folk-Williams

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hugh Dickens

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  17. 5 out of 5

    Giorgio

  18. 5 out of 5

    Juan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matt Stanford

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ruidong Chen

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Bramwell

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carlos Guzman

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vicente

  26. 5 out of 5

    Juan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gingko

  28. 4 out of 5

    GABRIEL SOBARZO

  29. 4 out of 5

    Agustín Dufour

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eduardo Nieto

  31. 5 out of 5

    Enrique Sebert

  32. 4 out of 5

    David

  33. 4 out of 5

    Chari Escudero

  34. 4 out of 5

    Juan Charovsky

  35. 4 out of 5

    Ara

  36. 5 out of 5

    Ana

  37. 4 out of 5

    Rex

  38. 5 out of 5

    Edith Itzén

  39. 5 out of 5

    María Villaseñor

  40. 5 out of 5

    Brittf

  41. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Bannister

  42. 5 out of 5

    amy

  43. 5 out of 5

    Doris Moore

  44. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  45. 4 out of 5

    Susan The Book Dragon Campton

  46. 4 out of 5

    Bettye Short

  47. 4 out of 5

    Denise

  48. 4 out of 5

    Shantel

  49. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  50. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

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